CUNA Honors Financial Education Leaders

Nine CUs nab first-place 2013 Desjardins Awards for Youth and Adult Financial Education.

November 20, 2013

CUNA has announced the winners of the 2013 Desjardins Awards for Youth and Adult Financial Education. Entries from 27 states yielded nine first-place winners, along with several second place and honorable mention winners, in both the adult and youth education categories.

“Nine first-place winners are a testament to the commitment of credit unions in providing [current and prospective] members a solid understanding of the challenges and rewards of fully understanding their financial positions,” says CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney. “My congratulations to the winners, my thanks to all the entrants, and my admiration for a credit union movement that makes financial education among its top priorities.”

The Desjardins Awards are named for Alphonse Desjardins, the founder of the North American credit union movement. Besides founding the first credit unions in Canada and the U.S., Desjardins pioneered youth savings clubs and in-school “banks,” known as caisses scolaires.

He established caisse populaires, cooperative savings and loan companies, to encourage the working class to save and plan for the future and provide much-needed credit. This award honors credit unions, chapters, and leagues for their commitment to both youth and adult financial literacy.

“Congratulations to this year’s winners and honorees for their inspiring work in developing financial education skills in members of their communities,” says Vikki Kinsler, CUNA’s program coordinator for the Desjardins Awards. “These credit union organizations are leading the way to improving the nation’s well-being by teaching the younger generation, as well as adults, how to achieve financial security by managing money and credit wisely.”

Recipients were chosen from among the state-winning entries by CUNA’s national awards committee.

Winners for the Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award include (asterisks indicate repeat winners):

  • Community Credit Union* (Lewiston, Maine);
  • CORE Federal Credit Union* (East Syracuse, N.Y.);
  • Silver State Schools Credit Union (Las Vegas); and
  • Topline Federal Credit Union (Maple Grove, Minn.).

Second-place winners for the Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award include:
Clarence Community & Schools Federal Credit Union* (Clarence, N.Y.);
CommunityAmerica Credit Union; (Kansas City, Mo.);
Education Credit Union (Amarillo, Texas); and
Public Service Credit Union* (Romulus, Mich.).

Honorable-mention winners for the Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award include:

  • Altra Federal Credit Union* (Onalaska, Wis.);
  • Central City Credit Union (Marshfield, Wis.); and
  • HealthCare First Credit Union (Johnstown, Pa.).

Winners for the Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award include:

  • Bayport Credit Union (Newport News, Va.);
  • Community Credit Union* (Lewiston, Maine);
  • Electro Savings Credit Union (St. Louis); and
  • St. Louis Community Credit Union.

Second-place winners for the Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award include:

  • CommunityAmerica Credit Union* (Kansas City, Mo.);
  • Greater Minnesota Credit Union* (Mora); and
  • Topline Federal Credit Union (Maple Grove, Minn.).

Honorable-mention winners for the Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award include:

  • University of Michigan Credit Union (Ann Arbor); and
  • US Federal Credit Union (Burnsville, Minn.).

The Maine Credit Union League also received a first-place award for its efforts to improve financial literacy for both youth and adults. A new initiative for this repeat winner is outreach to home-schooled students, an audience that traditionally has been missed in financial literacy efforts.

Winning entries will be on display at CUNA’s 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference, Feb. 23-27 in Washington, D.C.