CA, NV CUs Win State Desjardins, Maxwell, Herring Awards

CUNA Awards

Four California credit unions and one Nevada credit union received first-place honors at the state level in the Desjardins Adult and Youth Financial Education, Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Outreach, and Louise Herring for Philosophy in Action award programs. A total of six entries will now move forward to the national competition.

Altura CU was honored with two first-place awards—Dora Maxwell and Louise Herring—in its asset category (more than $1 billion). San Mateo CU took a first-place award in the Youth Desjardins while Golden 1 CU was a winner in the Adult Desjardins category. For the third consecutive year, Delta Schools FCU Union took the first-place trophy in the Desjardins Youth Financial Education in the less-than-$50-million asset category. In Nevada, Greater Nevada CU took first place in the $250 million to $1 billion asset category in the Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award.

Taking home second-place awards was Patelco CU in the Maxwell (more than $1 billion) and Adult Desjardins (more than $1 billion).

Altura CU was honored for its Altura Cares, the Riverside, CA-based credit union’s a member enrichment program, which during the COVID-19 crisis went above and beyond to ensure the communities Altura CU served was cared for during these unprecedented times. It provided food pantry donations, showed support for front line workers, aided the aging senior community, and recognized graduating high schoolers.

The credit union also was recognized for its Altura Cares 4 Teachers, a social media contest in which the credit union asked for member teachers to submit a nomination detailing why they love teaching and how their classroom would benefit from some "extra care". It awarded a classroom makeover valued at $2,500 to two teachers; hand-delivered cash prizes of $250 to $500 to 17 runner-up recipients; and gave hand-written thank you cards along with a $100 gift card to the remaining 61 nominees.

San Mateo CU received recognition for its youth financial education which not only included class offerings, but a close monitoring of progress and positive change to those participating. Using data from the Department of Education, the Redwood City, CA-based credit union began to ramp up its high school efforts to address the inequities it saw seeing in San Mateo County and created a number of specialized programs.  In the end, they saw an increase of 36 percent of youth who expressed they felt more financially empowered; 15 percent opened a SMCU checking account; and the program grew youth membership by more than 100 new members over 2018.

Golden 1 was recognized for its successful efforts to pivot its adult financial education efforts in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. The Financial Education team at Sacramento, CA-based credit union developed all digital content to reach and engage with the community, including a bi-monthly podcast creation on the Golden 1 Podcast Channel and increasing the frequency of public financial education webcast offerings from once per month to four per week. The team also started to provide more relevant content, including Budgeting in Uncertain Times and 8 Tips to Reduce Your Monthly Expenses.

Delta Schools FCU was honored for its youth financial education program, which include the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation’s Bite of Reality program. Although the Antioch, CA-based credit union was unable to meet its goal of reaching 3,500 students through the program due to COVID-19, it still reached 1,145 students through March. Because of its successful programs, several local organizations reached out to the credit union, including a local Boy Scout Troop which asked it to teach a budget and banking program so the scouts could earn a banking badge. Additionally, Delta Schools’ Community Youth Outreach Manager was asked to teach classes on financial well-being and how to be a successful and powerful woman in the community at the Women’s Empowerment Day for eighth grades girls.

Greater Nevada received recognition for its creation of a series of seminars/webinars, artificial intelligence financial assessments, and continuing education classes for credit union members, SEGs, and educational facilities on a variety of topics, including retirement planning, Social Security and Medicare. Between October 1, 2018 and July 23, 2020, the credit union reached 930 individuals. In addition, the Carson City, NV-based credit union developed relationships to provide financial education throughout the community, including through the Renown Health Group, Truckee Meadows Community College, and Western Nevada College. 

Patelco was recognized for its adult financial education efforts that reached more than 3,400 people via classroom instruction, videos, webinars, mobile applications, and social media. In addition, the Dublin, CA-based credit union was honored for its impressive COVID-19 relief efforts, including waiving 45,840 fees totaling $1.2 million and donating $130,000 to local food banks.

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 Dora Maxwell Award honors credit unions for their community outreach efforts. The Desjardins Youth and Adult Financial Education Awards honor credit union efforts to educate young people and adults. The Louise Herring Award recognizes internal credit union efforts. Only first-place winners in each asset category advance to the national competition.

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