CUNA’s National Awards Committee announced that CORE FCU and SEFCU both received national Desjardins Youth Financial Education Awards for their exceptional commitment to youth financial education. The awards, which are given in several credit union asset sizes, were selected among the winning entries at a league level.
This year’s first-place winners for the national Desjardins Youth Financial Education Awards include CORE FCU and SEFCU.
CORE FCU received 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 received 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.