Community Service

Desjardins Awards Celebrate Financial Education Outreach

Winners excel at financial literacy advocacy.

February 13, 2013
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Judges for CUNA’s Desjardins Awards for Youth and Adult Financial Education recognize credit unions that best demonstrate financial literacy advocacy at their credit unions and in their communities.

The Maine Credit Union League won the league category. Credit unions delivered financial education to record numbers of consumers through statewide events.

Award winners in the youth financial education category include:

  • Clarence (N.Y.) Community & Schools Federal Credit Union, offered "Youth $avings" programs in local schools, providing students the opportunity to save money in a credit union account and bring their deposits to school.
  • CommunityAmerica Credit Union, Kansas City, Mo., used Cash 'n’ Coins Club savings accounts for youth ages 13 and younger, allowing them to save money and watch their balances grow.
  • CORE Federal Credit Union, East Syracuse, N.Y., offered an extensive student financial literacy program that includes hands-on skills, training, direct instruction, and student coaching and peer mentoring.
  • Generations Federal Credit Union, San Antonio, reached out to youth via a program that speaks directly to students about financial education.
  • Northwest Chapter of the Ohio Credit Union League delivered financial education to high school students in a fun and interactive way, while also providing valuable life skills.

In the adult financial education category, judges selected:

  • Beach Municipal Federal Credit Union, Virginia Beach, Va., assisted the unbanked and underbanked citizens of the community gain access to traditional financial products and services.
  • Credit Union 1, Anchorage, Alaska, acted as a financial education resource to the community by offering classes to the public, organizations, groups, and clubs.
  • Town & Country Credit Union, Minot, N.D., provided financial seminars and support for community members recovering from a devastating flood in 2011.
  • United Labor Credit Union, Kansas City, Mo., taught union members personal finance and related topics in a classroom setting.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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