San Mateo CU Wins National Maxwell Award

Redwood City-based San Mateo Credit Union received first-place honors in the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award program at the national level. The credit union—which won in the $250 million-$1 billion asset category—will be recognized at the 2017 Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference, to be held Feb. 26-March 2, in Washington, D.C. The award honors credit unions nationwide for their community outreach efforts.

The credit union was recognized for the development of its San Mateo County Scholars (SCMS) Program, aimed at developing leadership, academic, and financial education skills of area high school mothers. Women from the credit union and the Global Women’s Leadership Network (an organization which seeks to develop women leaders across the world)volunteered in the classroom, and participated as in-person or electronic mentors. The results: 100 percent of the students were banked and more than half opened youth savers accounts for their babies. San Mateo CU earlier in the year received a first-place award at the state level competition in California, allowing it to move forward to the national competition.

“I couldn’t be more proud of what this award represents, both for us as a credit union and, most importantly, for the 44 young women that were part of the program,” said Wade Painter, CEO of San Mateo CU. “Being a parent so early in life puts you at greater risk of being left behind, but Kristi and her team stepped in and helped to ensure that didn’t happen; now every single program participant is either in college or a higher-level vocational school and has a far greater chance of future success and financial well-being. That is exactly the kind of impact SMCU and all credit unions strive to have on our local communities.”

“The SMCS program is truly the embodiment of San Mateo Credit Union’s commitment to ‘People Helping People’ and we are so honored to be recognized by this award,” said San Mateo CU Financial Education Specialist Kristi Lozano. “The financial education and leadership skills that our students developed will impact their lives for generations to come; no one can take that knowledge away from them and they always have a trusted financial partner in us, should they need a little guidance down the road. I’m so thankful to my organization for respecting the creative freedom that went in to developing such a unique experience for our students. Now that they are in college, saving to buy a home, and buying their first cars from us, we can’t wait to see what else their bright futures hold.”

The Dora Maxwell Award—along with the Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award and the Desjardins Awards for Financial Education—is administered at the state level by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, the Ontario, CA-based trade association for credit unions in both states, and nationally by CUNA.

Tina Ramos-Ingold, Media Relations Specialist
California Credit Union League

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