Through years of running Boys & Girls Clubs, “a piece of my heart is always drawn to working with at-risk youth,” says David Rodriguez. He continues to pursue that passion as financial education manager at $500 million asset Generations Federal Credit Union, San Antonio.
The credit union works with the George Gervin Youth Center, founded by the former NBA star for the San Antonio Spurs, and its summer work program for youth ages 13 through 18. That relationship led to linking up with World of Work, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department’s jail alternative program.
“We teach these students the basics of money,” Rodriguez says. “This is a way for them to connect to something positive.”
CUNA honored Generations Federal and several other credit unions with Desjardins Financial Education Awards for their commitment to young consumers.
The Maine Credit Union League was recognized for teaming up with $154 million asset PeoplesChoice Credit Union in Saco, Maine, to host a financial fitness fair at a juvenile detention center.
Attendees chose a job with a specific starting salary and went booth to booth to learn how to budget their money. Jon Paradise, the league’s vice president of governmental and public affairs, had an opportunity to eavesdrop as he toured amongst the booths.
Participants were “very engaged,” he says. “They have dreams. That was great to see.”
The $760 million asset San Mateo Credit Union in Redwood City, Calif., earned its Desjardins Award for offering classes at a local school’s teen parent program, working with youth transitioning out of detention, and providing financial education at a residential camp 13- to-17-year-old girls on probation attend throughout the school year.
In teaching about finance, “we structure classes so the students teach each other, with our facilitation,” says Kristi Lozano, San Mateo’s financial education specialist. “We want to make sure they can contribute their own life experiences.”