The Golden 1 Credit Union and Silver State Schools Credit Union won first-place state awards in the Louise Herring for Philosophy in Action Award program. Meanwhile, Silver State and Mendo Lake Credit Union received first-place honors in the state Desjardins Financial Education Awards. All will now compete in the national credit union recognition programs.
The Golden 1 Credit Union in Sacramento, CA, won a first-place Louise Herring Award in the $1 billion-plus asset category for its college scholarship program for credit union members and their dependents. In its first year, the credit union awarded amounts of $1,000, $2,500, and $5,000 in renewable scholarships (covering up to four years of college) to 33 students, for a total award amount of $320,000. The judges from the Mountain West Credit Union Association were impressed by what they called a “very comprehensive program with lots of member outreach and education.”
Las Vegas, NV-based Silver State Schools received a first-place award in the $250 million to $1 billion asset category for its Piggy Bank Project, a collaborative effort between the credit union, Bracken Elementary School, The United Way of Southern Nevada, Young Philanthropist Society, Junior Achievement, and Andson Foundation. The project is a combination of an on-campus bank, financial literacy in the classroom, and student homework designed to include parents. In the first year, students saved more than $18,000. The judges called it an “excellent demonstration of the credit union mission,” and “commitment to the community.”
The Piggy Bank Project also netted Silver State a first-place Desjardins Youth Financial Educational Award in the more-than-$500-million-asset category. Honorable mention went to Patelco Credit Union in Pleasanton, CA.
Mendo Lake Credit Union in Ukiah, CA received a first-place Desjardins Youth Financial Educational Award in $50- $150-million asset category for its NEFE financial curriculum as well as Money Wise and Banzai programs. The Banzai program, the newest component of MLCU’s Community Financial Literacy Initiative, resulted in three classroom presentations and numerous teacher contacts made. MLCU has 183 students participating in the Money Wise program with a total of more than $22,500 in their savings accounts. In addition, MLCU’s Harbor on Main partnership for the NEFE program resulted in the credit union being invited to be a founding member of the Lake County Youth Coalition, whose goal is to provide access to resources focused on health, wellness and career opportunities for Lake County youth. Judges said in part, the entry presented a “very strong program that has a successful track record.”
Each awards program is administered at the state level by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, and nationally by the Credit Union National Association. Entries were submitted to the Leagues and judged by a committee from the Mountain West Credit Union Association.
The Louise Herring Award honors credit unions for practical application of the philosophy of “People Helping People” within the actual operation of the credit union. Only first-place winners in each asset category advance to the national competition. The Desjardins Youth Financial Education Awards recognize activities supporting the personal finance education of young members and nonmembers, while the Desjardins Adult Financial Education Awards honor credit union efforts to educate adult members and nonmembers. Only first-place winners in each asset category advance to the national competition.