CORE FCU Receives Seventh Consecutive National Youth Financial Literacy Award

April 6, 2018


Lauren Williams, Media Relations Manager, Credit Union National Association; (202) 626-7642,

Ronald McLean – Sr. VP & Chief Engagement Officer; New York Credit Union Association; (800) 342-9835, ext.8191,


Madison, Wis. (March 12, 2018) –Credit Union National Association (CUNA) honored CORE Federal Credit Union as a national Desjardins Award winner for the seventh consecutive year for its work in promoting youth financial literacy.  This is the first time in the history of the Desjardins Award that a credit union has received the award in seven consecutive years. The award was presented at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. on February 28, 2018.

The Desjardins Awards are named for Alphonse Desjardins, the founder of the North American credit union movement, and honors credit unions for their commitment to youth and adult financial literacy.

CORE was named as an award winner from among all state-wide winners throughout the country for credit unions in the $50 to $150 million dollar asset size range.  CUNA currently has nearly 1,000 member credit unions in the $50 to $150 million range.

CORE opened the first student-run credit union in Central New York at ESM High School in 2005.  The credit union operates an extensive financial literacy program that includes three student run credit unions at ESM, Cicero-North Syracuse, and Morrisville-Eaton high schools, in addition to several K – 6 school banking programs in both public and private schools and student facilitated adult education seminars.

Using a unique “Students as Educators” model, all of CORE’s programs provide high school students the opportunity to learn about personal finance, to teach their peers, to serve as mentors and role models for younger students in the school district, to team-teach adult education sessions with school board members and credit union personnel, and also to become certified as volunteer tax preparers under the IRS VITA program.

CORE has presented its program nationally at credit union conferences and actively works with other credit unions and school districts to assist them in enhancing their own student financial literacy programs.  “I was tremendously impressed by CORE Federal Credit Union’s ‘Students as Educators’ program,” said John Graham, President and CEO or Kentucky Employees Credit Union, and one of this year’s Desjardins Award judges. “In the past year, over 500 high school students and over 5,000 grade K – 8 students have benefitted from this program!  CORE FCU has consulted with several credit unions from as far away as Colorado to develop youth financial literacy partnership options within their schools and communities, in addition to presenting their program at several national conferences. This unique program of coaching student volunteers to teach good savings habits and responsible money management skills is amazing!” 

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About CORE Federal Credit Union

CORE Federal Credit Union is a $97 million not-for-profit financial institution headquartered in East Syracuse, New York.  They have served their members and the Central New York Community for 59 years and have offices in East Syracuse, North Syracuse and Morrisville, NY.  Visit for more information about CORE FCU.

About CUNA 
Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America's credit unions, which are owned by 110 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit