The $154 million Streator Onized CU is celebrating its most recent contribution to credit union run high school branches.
Th Streator, Illinois headquartered CU started Bulldog Credit Union in Streator Township High School in August of this year. Bulldog is open an hour before classes begin and during all lunch hours and employs three seniors in a school work program. It also offers the traditional classroom curricula on financial literacy.
“So far the teachers have responded very well,” said Ryan Neumann, branch manager. Topics have included: Checking 101, Saving for College, How to buy a Vehicle, What Credit is, and just budgeting basics. To supplement the classroom presentations, Neumann also will be using Mad City Money and ibudget, two interactive programs.
Melanie Murphy, manager of member services for the Illinois Credit Union League and administrator of the Youth Council, said Bulldog is the eighth CU-run high school branch to get started in the state. She said other states may be further along with the program making a distinction, however, with actual physical presence in the schools versus staff member presence.
“One of the biggest problems with high school branches is getting the administration and the teachers to really support them,” said Murphy. “If that doesn’t happen, these kinds of facilities struggle along.”
So far the record in Illinois has been a good one and the Bulldog CU in Streator named after the school mascot “is doing outstanding,” she said.
Aside from being active in the classroom and serving the students for their financial needs, “BCU has been participating in many activities to get students involved,” said Neumann. For instance, BCU has participated in home basketball and football games, handing out information, raffling a Streator High School jacket, and giving away “little bulldog Stress balls” at homecoming and senior night.
In the photo included are Ryan Neumann, SOCU Branch Manager (second from left) with other student workers at BCU's main location in the concession area of Streator Township High School.