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ROME, Italy – They came from Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Ireland, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Trinidad & Tobago and the U.S. They are all under 35 years old and they work as credit union tellers, IT people, lawyers, marketing managers, sales representatives, branch representatives and loan officers. Their credit unions are big and small. These are the 31 WOCCU Young Credit Union People, who have been nominated by a variety of sources to come to Rome to learn more about the credit union movement. They are vying for five scholarship positions at the 2006 WOCCU Conference in Dublin. To be nominated some asked their bosses, some took place in detailed elimination programs, and one young man, Dorwin Manzabo of Trinida & Tobago when he couldn’t convinced his board to finance the trip went out and raised funds. He so believed that the knowledge he gathered would be useful for his credit union he said he would do almost anything to attend. The WYCUP program started five years ago as the brainchild of Grzegorz Bierecki, WOCCU Director and head of the National Association of Cooperative Savings and Credit Unions (NACSCU) in Poland. Concerned that there were not enough young people in the movement he worked with WOCCU to develop this program to attract and keep young credit union employees. The first networking section was facilitated by Skott Pope of the Washington Credit Union League and a former WYCUP scholarship winner. The participants were told that they are the future CEOs and CFOs of the movement. Past participants told stories of how they constantly network even three years after participating. One was a new community development director who needed a job description. She asked her network and had several within an hour. One of the networking exercises was to create a trade journal. Using Credit Union Times and other CU publications both private and industrial, the groups produced four different journals featuring articles about different credit union issues. The synergy in the room was so strong that the group leader let the project run over time. The judges who will select the final scholarship winners observed, although all candidates have had to submit a lengthy package about themselves and their goals. Winners will be announced the last night of the Conference. [email protected]

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