Award Spotlight: Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award

oHuT50yGSdunFxpEc9ph_desjardins_new_200pxThe New York Credit Union Association will present several state-level Recognition Awards to credit unions, chapters and individuals at the 2018 Annual Meeting & Convention. Today’s featured award is the Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award, which recognizes credit unions that demonstrate a significant commitment to youth financial education.

This year’s first-place winners include Good Neighbors Credit Union, CORE FCU and SEFCU. Northern FCU is receiving an honorable mention.

GoodNeighborsGood Neighbors Credit Union is receiving the award in the category for credit unions with less than $50 million in assets. Last year, the credit union initiated a Youth Outreach Program, which was started as a way to connect area students with real-world financial education. The program includes a fully functioning branch inside a local high school. Credit union staff also works with high school business students on a quarterly Outreach Program, which involves a team of 30 high schoolers visiting four elementary schools to teach a financial literacy lesson to second graders and promote the credit union’s Youth Savings Club to students.

CORE LOgoCORE FCU is receiving the award in the category for credit unions with $50 million – $250 million in assets. CORE FCU has an established, well-developed student financial literacy program, but the credit union continued to add unique new initiatives last year as the program grew and developed. The program includes hands-on skills training—including student-run credit union operations at three area high schools—direct instruction, student-coaching, peer-mentoring, and more. In total, CORE FCU last year reached more than 2,000 high school students and over 5,300 students in grades K-8. Additionally, CORE FCU CEO William Sweeney made 12 personal presentations to a total of 270 high school students in 2017 on topics ranging from how to responsibly use credit, to goal setting and basic budgeting.

sefcu_logoSEFCU is receiving the award in the category for credit unions with more than $1 billion in assets. SEFCU’s Institute for Financial Well-Being provides free financial education to help participants achieve personal economic stability and financial independence, make sound financial decisions and build positive habits. Using proprietary workbooks, interactive workshops and age-appropriate sessions, SEFCU provided hands-on instruction to help participants (including 2,211 youth to date) understand financial fundamentals. The sessions provided answers to common financial questions, information about financial concepts and details about applying the concepts. Group discussions, case studies, problem-solving activities, and progressive learning strategies were also incorporated, as were pre- and post-assessments to gauge effectiveness.

northernNorthern FCU is receiving an honorable mention for their Foundational Finances With Cornell Cooperative Extension initiative. Through the partnership, the credit union was able to bring financial education lessons to over 550 students in 12 largely rural school districts.

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