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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. – A group of Southern California credit unions has formed an organization to expose more students to the basics of personal finance. The group, called Southern California Credit Union Partners in Education, or So Cal CU-PIE, is modeled and named after a successful program that Sacramento-area credit unions have used for the past 25 years to provide local schools with credit union staff to teach financial literacy to K-12 students. The group will work with area schools to bring credit union staff into the classroom and, depending upon the age level of the students, talk to students about a variety of topics ranging from how interest compounds over time, to how to wisely use credit cards and how to make and stick to a budget. Presenters also discuss what credit unions are and the advantages of using them for basic consumer financial services. So Cal CU-PIE includes representatives from nine Southland credit unions and the California Credit Union League. The group will hold its first members’ meeting October 8 at American First CU in La Habra, following the upcoming Southern California roundtable of the California Youth Involvement Network, a volunteer organization supported by the California Credit Union League dedicated to increasing youth education in consumer finance. “The number of personal bankruptcies in the United States is alarmingly high and has been on the rise for years,” said So Cal CU-PIE President/ AltaOne FCU Marketing Supervisor Brynn Leehan. “Without knowledge of personal finance, young people can make mistakes that can affect their lives adversely for years. We hope that by expanding and organizing our work to present the basics to students in the Southland area, we’ll create a generation of smart consumers who will understand personal finance and the wise use of credit, reduce the future number of bankruptcies, and prevent young people from getting into financial trouble later in life.” So Cal CU-PIE has also secured sponsorships from several Southland credit unions to help the organization reproduce presentation materials and handouts for students, as well as financial tools for students, such as pens, pencils, and calculators. Membership in So Cal CU-Pie is open to any credit union professional in Southern California interested in promoting youth financial literacy. Membership fees are $20 a year and sponsorships start at $200. For more information on So Cal CU-Pie, membership information, or on becoming a sponsor, contact So Cal CU-Pie president Brynn Leehan at (760) 371-7062, or by e-mail at [email protected]

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