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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Recognizing a need to educate and be more involved with today’s youth, credit unions are doing what they can. Here is a look at how some credit unions are becoming youth partners: Like many credit unions, St. Mary’s, Ga.-based United 1st Federal Credit Union has shown its youth support by partnering with its second high school teaching the National Endowment for Financial Education Program. First introduced last year to Camden County High School, the program is now being taught in Charlton County High School’s accounting department. The $64-million credit union provides all the class materials and serves as guest speakers as students learn the basics of balancing a checkbook; how to use the Internet; and how to be financially responsible in the future. In Hauppauge, New York, People’s Alliance Federal Credit Union provides a more “hands on” approach. For the fourth consecutive year, the $162-million credit union has hosted its Groundhog Job Shadow Day. Job shadowing enables kids to shadow a workplace mentor in various departments as he or she goes through a normal day on the job, providing an up-close look at how the skills learned in school are put into action in the workplace. During Colorado Springs-based Ent Federal Credit Union’s first year implementing its Youth Financial Literacy program over 2,000 students benefited from the $1.4 billion credit union’s teaching and funding assistance. As a principal underwriter of the Junior Achievement Personal Economics curriculum in two counties, Ent FCU provided funding and consultants to 43 financial training classes, teaching a total of 1,087 middle-school students. Ent FCU staffers also volunteered as Junior Achievement classroom consultants for 47 non-financial classes, teaching a total of 959 elementary-school students in six area school districts. In addition, Ent FCU funded substitute teacher costs and training expenses for Harrison School District teachers receiving NEFE curriculum training. The Youth Financial Literacy program includes savings and checking accounts linked to Web sites with educational games and articles. When a banker pulled out of a High School DECA presentation to eighth graders about credit, Virginia Beach Schools Federal Credit Union Marketing Coordinator Amy Courtwright saved the day by agreeing to be a last minute guest speaker. Since 1972, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union has been operating a student credit union at Konawaena High School. Students can open savings accounts, cash checks, and even take out loans — provided they get permission from their parents – all without leaving campus. In addition to the student board of directors, two students serve as tellers. Plans are underway to educate Konawaena Intermediate School eighth – graders about the credit union. Recently, the program received help in the form of a $1,000 grant from the Hawaii Credit Union League, which will be used to build a Konawaena High School Web site that will include information about the credit union.

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