The Credit Union Development Education program reached the age of 30 this year and the National Credit Union Foundation, which founded the program and is its chief sponsor, has turned a spotlight on the effort.
The Foundation hosted a special 30th anniversary reception that was held during the annual DE Workshop for CUDEs that took place June 20-22, 2012 in conjunction with Credit Union National Association’s America’s Credit Union Conference. The workshop featured sessions on innovation, immigration issues, sustainability, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), advocacy, young adults, panel discussions on notable activities/projects by CUDEs, and updates on the DE Program.
Graduates of the DE Program in attendance were from training sessions ranging from the first year in 1982 to the most recent training in April, 2012.
“It was an outstanding workshop and what an opportunity to renew old friendships, make new friends, reflect on the beginnings and see how far the DE Program has come,” remarked Susan Luke, Owner of Luke Communications Group and a graduate of the first DE Training in 1982. “We never dreamed the program would evolve in the way it has and what an awesome group of dedicated credit union volunteers and professionals it has grown to be. I feel privileged to continue to be a part of all that the DE program stands for such as integrating credit union philosophy and the cooperative principals in everything we do!”
“I have attended many conferences and workshops over the past 18 years but none compare to DE Training,” noted Ruben Cisneros, Chief Operations Officer at Border FCU and a graduate of DE Training in April, 2012. “It wasn’t until I attended this remarkable program that I truly realized we are part of a movement. It’s a movement with social values that I strongly believe in and have applied after attending DE Training. I would challenge anyone with a desire to achieve success in the movement to attend the program as it will open your eyes and will strengthen your desire.”
Of the 88 private programs which received funding in 1982 from U.S. Agency for International Development to fund programs that educate the U.S. public about major development issues related to hunger and economic development, primarily in developing countries, the CUDE program is the only one remaining in operation, the Foundation said.
“For thirty years the DE Program has stayed true to its original intent and has been instrumental in increasing the awareness and support of international credit union development efforts, which has helped to strengthen credit union movements in other countries and the services offered to members everywhere,” noted Lois Kitsch, National Program Director for the National Credit Union Foundation. “The DE program is currently thriving and it’s sure to continue for another thirty years given the program’s critical lessons in cooperative principles and credit union philosophy.”