The $166 million Cardinal Community Credit Union of Mentor, Ohio has opened what it says is the first student run credit union branch at Lake Catholic High School.
Cobranded as the SmartStart Cougar Branch, it is being operated by Lake Catholic student volunteers under the supervision of Cardinal Community CU.
The in-school branch is the collaborative project of Cardinal Community President/CEO Christine Blake and Lake Catholic President Sal Miroglotta.
“The timing (of this branch opening) could not be better,” Miroglotta said. “The state is putting greater emphasis on financial literacy education, and we’re setting the foundation for a substantive program.”
The branch will serve as the centerpiece of an integrated financial literacy education program, focusing on promoting money management skills such as thrift, smart spending, informed use of credit, and the benefits of regular saving and investing, the credit union said.
“The student branch program is a boon to all involved,” said Blake, a Lake Catholic alumna. “The students learn real-world skills in a positive, safe environment, and the school meets the state standards and benchmarks without additional training or resources.”
Cardinal Community CU said it will provide resources and work with Lake Catholic educators to develop financial education programs and presentations in keeping with the Ohio Grade Level Content Standards and Lake Catholic High School’s goals and objectives.
The aim is to introduce relevant, hands-on financial literacy concepts to students. The curriculum may include classroom teaching, facilitated workshop content, financial literacy roundtables, Web-based interactive coursework, and an on-site simulation of real-world personal finance challenges.