Texas Credit Union Foundation Honors Financial Literacy Champions

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The Texas Credit Union Foundation honored the work of the state's best financial literacy advocates with the presentation of its annual FOCUS Awards to credit union leaders from Austin, Fort Worth and San Antonio.

The Texas Credit Union Foundation (Foundation) honored the dedication, commitment and hard work of Texas’ best financial literacy advocates with the presentation of its annual FOCUS Awards during a special award ceremony at the Texas Credit Union League’s (League) 78th Annual Meeting & Convention in Galveston on April 18.

Generations Federal Credit Union in San Antonio was honored in the credit union category, while the Fort Worth Chapter of Credit Unions was recognized in the organization category. Kelsey Balcaitis with A+ Federal Credit Union in Austin received a Foundation Focus Network Member award.

Generations FCU was commended for its efforts to collaborate with private and public schools, as well as colleges and universities to ensure that students of all ages have access to the tools, resources and information to make smart financial choices. NerdWallet.com, an online financial literacy library, is just one of the programs offered by the credit union. Its’ “No Suckers Here” initiative is another. “No Suckers Here” is an employee-driven program that helps students in local high schools, colleges and universities understand basic financial concepts.

The Fort Worth Chapter of Credit Unions earned accolades for its sponsorship of a CU 4 Reality Fair. These financial reality fairs give young people the opportunity to participate in a hands-on event that guides them through the personal financial management process, including budgeting, saving and investing in a simulated real-world environment. The Chapter held the financial reality fair at two different local middle schools, reaching well over 300 students. CU 4 Reality is a turn-key financial education reality that is being made available to Texas credit unions thanks to support from the Foundation, Friends of Consumer Freedom and the National Credit Union Foundation.

Balcaitis was recognized for being a dedicated advocate for improving the financial knowledge of young people. Under Balcaitis direction, A+ FCU has run a hugely successful Youth Financial Camp for the last two years. In her role as community education specialist, Balcaitis developed the “Business Proposal Challenge” for the credit union’s first Youth Financial Camp in 2010. The goal of the challenge is to give campers hands-on experience with being an entrepreneur. For the 2011 camp, Balaitis developed the “Great Money Race,” a fun and interactive board game that tests campers’ financial knowledge and decision-making skills. In 2011, 117 young people attended the summer camp – that’s a 60 percent increase over the previous year.

About Texas Credit Union Foundation
The Texas Credit Union Foundation is the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation representing the state’s credit unions. The Foundation’s mission is empowering people to improve their financial well-being. For more information, visit http://www.tcuf.coop.

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Linda Webb-Manon
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