Award Spotlight: Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award

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Several Recognition Awards will be presented to New York credit unions during EXCEL 19, the New York Credit Union Association’s Annual Meeting & Convention. Today’s featured award is the Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award, which recognizes credit unions that demonstrate a significant commitment to adult financial education.

This year’s winners are Good Neighbors FCU and Alternatives FCU.

Good Neighbors FCU has been selected in the category for credit unions with less than $50 million in assets. Over the past two years, the credit union has partnered with a refugee resettlement agency, the International Institute of Buffalo, to bring financial literacy workshops to their clients. Every month, the credit union visits the institute to facilitate a two-hour workshop on financial literacy basics, which covers topics such as banks, credit unions, types of accounts, credit, and how to establish credit. Last year, the credit union taught financial literacy to about 240 immigrants and refugees, about 40 of whom opened accounts with the credit union.

Alternatives FCU has been selected in the $50 million – $250 million asset category. Alternatives offers the Ithaca community a suite of financial literacy products geared toward adults: Financial Wellness; Business CENTS (Community Enterprise Networking and Training Services); Free Tax Preparation; and Lending and Credit Repair. The programs include free one-on-one counseling, realistic goal-setting, business consultations, networking events, tax preparation assistance, complimentary educational sessions, and more. In total, Alternatives devoted more than 18,000 hours to financial education in 2018 and reached more than 4,000 individuals.

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