How does it feel to have a career and be financially independent?
This is one of the experiences young people have in the context of Genisys Credit Union’s Financial Reality Fair program and one of the reasons why the credit union won the Alphonse Desjardins Award for Financial Education of youth.
The award recently announced by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) recognizes the leadership efforts of credit unions to strengthen education in the name of financial literacy among young people.
âWe strive to be a resource for our communities when it comes to financial education,â said Jackie Buchanan, President and CEO of Genisys Credit Union. âFinancial knowledge and skills are essential to enable an individual or a family to achieve their goals of financial freedom and choice – it is never too early to begin this education. “
In 2019, the credit union received feedback from schools in the area that they did not have an attractive curriculum to support financial literacy teaching and learning. To support the development of the program, GCU has partnered with MCUL to deliver a Financial Reality Fair program to high school students.
Reality shows focus on providing a real world experience for students by giving them a taste of what it takes to live financially on their own.
Students start the fair by choosing a career, then are given a salary and a credit score to navigate various lifestyle purchases through a personalized app. In doing so, they learn about budgeting and the role a credit score plays in their financial well-being.
GCU has also partnered with Banzai, an award-winning content platform, to provide financial literacy materials to teachers. This partnership offers free online courses and materials for teachers, such as blog posts; interactive coaching sessions that virtually walk you through the emergency savings process, and more. There are also lesson plans that can be downloaded or sent to teachers for elementary, high school, and high school students.
To date, more than 6,000 students have been assisted in their financial education efforts through the GCU program.
The credit union also received the Dora Maxwell Award for Community Social Responsibility Service from CUNA. This award promotes social responsibility among credit unions by recognizing their achievements in community service. They received this recognition for the Hispanic Emergency Food Program carried out in partnership with the Oakland County Lighthouse and Centro Multicultural La Familia.
The program provides culturally appropriate foods to the Pontiac Hispanic community in response to food insecurity. Through an overnight live broadcast, over $ 68,000 was raised to benefit approximately 1,700 people in the community.
Genisys Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial institution that has been committed to helping its members financially since 1936. Michigan’s fourth largest credit union has more than 242,000 members and 32 branches, including those of Macomb and Oakland counties. .
For more information, visit genisyscu.org