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<p>PHOENIX – Desert Schools FCU and Junior Achievement of Arizona have joined forces to further the education programs at Valley schools. Through a financial contribution and in-kind volunteer hours, the credit union is sponsoring the business and economic classes offered in cooperation with Junior Achievement at Valley middle and high schools. Two hundred students in 10 classrooms are expected to benefit from the partnership. Desert School’s employee volunteers are assigned classrooms and tutor the students over the course of eight, one-hour weekly sessions. During the 2001 fall semester, Desert Schools employees taught at Mesquite Junior High School in Mesa. Eight employees worked with students in 7th and 8th grades. During the spring semester, they will tutor/mentor at Mesquite Junior High School, as well as Gilbert High School and Highland High School. Six new classrooms of students will participate in this partnership during the 2002 school year. Debbie Jaroch, Desert Schools Val Vista branch manager and program coordinator said the community service project matches business professionals to classrooms around the Valley to teach children about business-related issues in today’s society. She said the program demonstrates how school learning is applied to business and careers. Desert Schools is the largest credit union in Arizona. It has $1.5 billion in assets, 229,000 members and 17 Valley locations.</p>

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