Anoka County FCU Says "Whatever" to Reach Teens
CIRCLE PINES, Minn. - Anoka County Federal Credit Union Retail Services Manager Matt Lasiuta was recently featured on the popular teen news show "Whatever" for his energetic and engaging efforts to teach money management and financial planning to high school students. "Whatever" airs on local NBC-affiliate Kare 11 on Saturday mornings. Lasiuta was filmed while speaking to a classroom at Crossroads High School in Coon Rapids. "My credit union strongly believes in the financial education of our youth," Lasiuta said. "The issue is that youth aren't educated because their parents aren't educated. You've got to start somewhere - we might as well start with this generation." For more than four years, Lasiuta has been involved in classroom education in the northern Twin Cities metro area. However, in the past year, Anoka County FCU made a conscious effort to realign its focus, placing a larger emphasis on youth education and youth involvement in the credit union. In addition to the credit union's other products and services, Anoka County FCU offers a youth club, a teen checking program and a college student lending program. As the hosts of the "Whatever" show said, "It's never too early to take charge of your financial future," and she encouraged teens to take an active role in money management. Both in the classroom and in the "Whatever" feature story, Lasiuta covers a wide range of financial topics, including credit, credit card applications, buying a car, credit union membership and the credit union difference. He has created his own curriculum over the past four years, and he modifies his content to fit particular audiences. He also provides teachers with supplemental teaching information from the National Endowment for Financial Education's High School Financial Planning Program. "When I go into [high school classrooms], I gear almost everything in question form - I'm there to educate, not to lecture or talk down to them," Lasiuta said.