BROOMALL, Pa. -- What better way to know what's on younger members' minds than by asking?
Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union is now able to stay plugged into the elusive youth market with its newly created Youth Advisory Board.
It is a mutually beneficial relationship. Not only does the 10-member board provide valuable insight to a young person's perspective, but the board members representing five different Delaware County high schools, are learning all about business, banking and the nonprofit world, while gaining important business leadership skills.
According to FMFCU Assistant Vice President/Director of Education Rick Durante, who's also co-directing the 2006-2007 Delco Hi-Q competition, has already proven invaluable in reaching teens ages 14-18.
The board makes recommendations to help guide the credit union's youth outreach initiatives in product development, marketing and education. Eventually, board members will also have an opportunity to attend FMFCU board meetings and to work on special projects.
"We've made a big commitment to you, your schools and the community. We need your feedback," said Durante to the students at a recent meeting.
The Youth Advisory Board is a subcommittee of FMFCU's Education Committee. Its members meet with a credit union representative monthly at FMFCU headquarters to focus on the financial needs of young FMFCU members and the methods that could be utilized to attract and retain younger students. Board members serve for one year and are eligible to apply for a second term. They were appointed from among the credit union's current student branch employees who show a strong interest in the high school branch program.
FMFCU's first in-school financial facility was established at Interboro High School in September 2004. Since then, branches have opened in Upper Darby, Penn Wood and Springfield high schools. A fifth branch is anticipated to open soon at Strath Haven.
All high school branches offer most of the same products and services available at FMFCU's other locations. Students, faculty, staff and parents can deposit funds, open accounts and apply for loans. They can check balances, transfer funds and view their account history through an Internet connection to the FMFCU Web site.
Students operate the branch under the guidance of FMFCU Student Cluster Manager Kelly Lynn and their input is important.
A recent advisory board meeting discussion centered on how to convince more students to choose FMFCU for their banking needs during high school and beyond.
Board members shared their thoughts on giveaway items, such as book covers or pens that could be used as incentives to open an account. They also suggested establishing a "Celebration Account," similar to a "Christmas Club" or "Holiday e-club," to enable students to save for their prom, class ring or senior week expenses. Another idea offered was to raffle prom tickets as an incentive for students to open an account.
FMFCU Youth Advisory Board members include Brittany Catona, Bethany Cheezum, Philip Sabato, Luke Grossi, Sarah Antolini, Davinder Singh, Steve Aikens, Dontaye Jones, Val Gibson, and Joseph Winkler.