White House honors N.M. CU employee for Hispanic fin. lit.

September 22, 2014

WASHINGTON (9/23/14)--Shana Runck is both a credit union employee and a teacher, and it's the marriage of those two roles that earned her recognition by the White House Monday as a Latino Champion of Change.

Click to view larger imageModerator Eric Waldo, executive director, Reach Higher Initiative, leads a panel of Latino educators who were named Champions of Change by the White House. From left, Pat Sanchez, superintendent, Adams County (Colo.) School District 14; Pedro Rivera, superintendent, Lancaster (Pa. ) School District; Gonzalo La Cava, area superintendent, Fulton County (Ga.) Schools' Central Learning Community; Shana Runck, assistant vice president of community relations and financial capabilities, New Mexico Educators FCU, Albuquerque, N.M.; and Daniel King, superintendent, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (Texas) Independent School District.

Runck, assistant vice president of community relations and financial capabilities for New Mexico Educators FCU, Albuquerque, N.M., with $1.5 billion in assets, helped design a course that teaches students about jobs in the financial services industry (KRQE Sept. 21).

"The students also learn about products and services that you would need to know about (when) working at a credit union: checking accounts, savings, investment, that type of thing," Runck told KRQE.

For creating the class, Runck was nominated by her peers, and the White House chose her from a long list of finalists to receive the award, which honors Americans who are doing "extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world." 

Runck was one of 10 financial literacy educators to be honored Monday in Washington, D.C. The award presentation and a roundtable on financial education in Latino communities were streamed live on the White House's website.

"New Mexico Educators FCU is honored that Shana will receive this prestigious national honor for her work with the community and helping students pursue education and careers in the financial services industry," said CEO Terry Laudick. "The credit union has long been committed to the principles of education and community impact, and this work turns those commitments into reality."

The course Runck developed was created in collaboration with Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry's Running Start for Careers program, which offers high school students an opportunity to earn dual credits for high school and college.

Runck's program culminates in an interview with New Mexico Educators FCU for a paid internship where the students can continue to receive hands-on training and credit towards graduation.

Last year the credit union employed 14 interns, more than any other organization in the state participating in the Running Start for Careers program.

"The students have very, very positive feedback," Runck said, adding that the internships are mutually beneficial, as they provide valuable experience to the students as well as an opportunity for credit unions to recruit qualified applicants, according to KRQE.

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