TUKWILA, Wash. (11/19/15)--Financial literacy is a shared community priority, and credit unions are in a unique position to lead that effort, Benson Porter, president/CEO, BECU, Tukwila, Wash., wrote in a guest commentary published in The Herald of Everett, Wash.
As a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative, BECU has an interest in and responsibility for helping and educating members and their communities,” Porter wrote. That's who we are and why we exist.”
As an example, he cited BECU's Community Day at Junior Achievement's Business Park. This event gives parents and their teens the opportunity to learn together about money-management by challenging them with real-life, hands-on budgeting scenarios.
BECU also offers ongoing webcasts, webinars, classroom courses and seminars that provide a deeper dive into topics such as building credit, buying a home, paying for college and avoiding identity theft.
To demonstrate its commitment to financial literacy, BECU closed its doors for half the day on Oct. 20 and sent all of its employees to deliver Financial Reality Fairs at high schools throughout the Puget Sound area. The credit union dubbed the effort “Closing for Good,” and the fairs reached 21 high schools and more than 3,000 students. Curriculum for the fairs was provided by the Northwest Credit Union Foundation.
“These are small steps, and teaching financial literacy takes a village,” Porter wrote. “With that in mind, I respectfully challenge other organizations to enter the fray with us.”