The $565-million DuTrac Community Credit Union and Davenport West High School have launched what DuTrac says is the first in-school high school credit union in Iowa.
The collaborative project in Davenport will provide students with opportunities to learn how to manage their money, along with hands-on work opportunities in the financial sector, the credit union said.
A branch credit union has opened at West High School with membership open to West High School students and staff members only.
The Davenport West Falcons branch, a division of the credit union, is staffed by West High School students with the support of a fulltime DuTrac Credit Union employee and the business academy teachers at West High School.
The branch offers a checking account that is accessible only through a debit card, as well as a savings account.
The credit union is a school-driven program with a focus on financial education for students.
“It’s important for everyone to learn good money management skills,” said Steve Verdon, WHS Business Academy teacher. “It’s important for students to learn the difference between the fund balance shown in their checking account and the actual funds available for them to use. For example, insufficient funds charges can mount up quickly.”
Another tool that will be available to students is “Advance,” an online budgeting tool that can help students set savings goals for things that are important to them, such as a prom dress, class ring, or a yearbook.
“We’re excited to offer a career-development opportunity for students who may be interested in working in the financial sector in the future,” said Andrew Hawkinson, president/CEO of DuTrac.
“Students are working in a professional environment and are expected to meet real-world standards in terms of a dress code, customer service, and compliance standards. The branch will also undergo an audit, just like any of our branches.”
The DW Falcons branch began opening accounts on the first day of the school year, Aug. 12, and already has 120 members.