Student-Run Credit Union Documentary


When it comes to money there seems to be a
disconnect in this country. As we grow up we’re expecting to get through
school obtain a good job and become responsible adults. A large part of accomplishing that depends
on making sound financial decisions. However many schools do not adequately address
financial education in their curriculum. Upon entering the workforce many American’s
are unprepared for many things like car payments student loans and household bills. A great majority of us don’t know how to budget
these expenses into our daily lives and as a result may end up in serious debt. In 2009 during the worst financial crisis
since the Great Depression we recognized an alarming pattern among our prime borrowing
age members which would be 25 to 45 years of age. They simply did not have backup savings in
the event of a financial or economic crisis. I believe the disconnect is in multiple areas. I don’t believe the school system understand
or have the ability to implement real life financial situations for their students. In Jackson Ohio Atomic Credit Union recognized
the need for financial education in the local school district so they partnered with the
three elementary schools in the Jackson City school district and established three student
run branches based in each cafeteria. Here Students not only make deposits and withdrawals
funds but, are also in charge of operating and managing the branch during designated
hours. Being in charge of real money provides valuable
hands-on lessons in both money-management and holding a job. Due to the success at the Elementary Student-Run
branches Jackson School Administrators supported the expansion of the program to the High School
and Middle School. Atomic Credit Union is now serving the entire
school district. The older students experiences extenuated
with group projects such as raising money for a specialized bike for a student with
mobility issues or volunteering with the local special Olympics. I’m the branch manager at my school and
I love it. I decided that it would be good for me to
get into something like that because like I learned responsibility with money and how
to save. I think it’s important because if you want
to save for something like say college or a car or house or anything like that it’s
good to start early You can save it and when you get older you
can buy stuff that you need. Most of us aren’t born with financial insight
but we can certainly be taught just want getting students excited about saving and improving
budgeting skills earlier in life can help shape the next generation of sensible consumers. The opportunity to work in the student run
credit union is also used by teachers to reward good behavior. Atomic Credit Unions financial education initiatives
in the communities and in the schools are great manifestation of the cooperative structure
of Credit Unions. We interact with and hear from school administrators
from teachers from professors we hear from parents we hear from community leaders and
public policymakers most of the folks that experience the Credit Union pure brand of
financial literacy especially as manifested in student outreach through schools and communities
we hear positive things about that all the time and it’s just a great example of credit
unions paying excellent attention to community building and to youth development. We believe that the students achieve a higher
level of understanding when they’re dealing with real money either their own or that of
others. Why start so young… kids these days are
exposed to more than any generation in the past. Through technology they communicate with a
wide range of people and through television and 24-hour news they’re exposed to more adult
issues than ever before so to treat money and finance any differently we believe is
irresponsible. I’m involved. I’m Co Branch Manager. And it’s set up so students in the school
can actually access their bank accounts or start new bank accounts. Some of things you’ve learned about money-management
are safe often save everything you can and record all your transactions. That way you don’t ever overspend. This hands on experience provides invaluable
skills that translates well on resumes and college applications. These students will be equipped to make better
financial decisions in life and perhaps an opportunity to land themselves a job at Atomic
Credit Union after graduation. Do we feel that the programs has been successful? We believe the answer is yes. A program that started in one school district
in 3 elementary schools is now in 7 school districts in 12 different schools and we have
4 or 5 inquiring about the program as we speak. Our Credit Unions across the state, at the
Ohio Credit Union league itself and those of us in the movement will continue to be
very, very focused on partnering in our communities, like atomic is partnering with Jackson High
School to bring financial literacy and financial education to our citizens at a very young
age where they can develop good habits. To learn more about Atomic’s youth financial
education programs visit us online or call the number on your screen. Atomic Credit Union has been serving southern
Ohio since 1955 with a broad array of financial services. Today Atomic Credit Union offers financial
education through its Student-Run Credit Unions. Atomic Credit Union has partnered with area
schools to teach today youth wise financial strategies through this hands-on experience
children participating in the atomic credit union program learn invaluable skills that
they can use in adulthood. To learn more visit us online or call the
number on your screen.

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