San Mateo CU, Delta Schools FCU Win National Desjardins Financial Education Awards

San Mateo CU Wins Desjardins Award
San Mateo CU's various youth financial education programs helped it to receive a first-place national Desjardins Youth Financial Education Program Award.

San Mateo CU and Delta Schools FCU were among the national winners in the Desjardins Youth Financial Education Program, the Credit Union National Association recently announced.

San Mateo CU took a first-place award in its asset category of more than $1 billion while Delta Schools FCU Union took a second-place trophy in the less-than-$50-million asset category. 

San Mateo CU was honored 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.

Delta Schools FCU was recognized 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.

A total of five credit unions in California and Nevada, including Altura CU, Golden 1 CU, and Greater Nevada CU, had moved on from state-level first-place award finishes to the national competition 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 moved forward to the national competition.

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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