LATHRUP VILLAGE, Mich. — Michigan First Credit Union ( has been awarded the 2007 Generation Next Award, in recognition of its “overall achievement in outstanding contributions to the credit union youth movement” and for “effectively bridging the gap for the next generation of credit union members.”

The Michigan Credit Union League presents the Generation Next Award annually.

“This honor recognizes our ongoing efforts and commitment to educating and preparing the youth in our community,” said Michael Poulos, president/CEO of Michigan First CU. “We are passionate about the work we do, especially the numerous youth initiatives and programs focused on teaching financial literacy and helping ensure the financial success of our future generations.”

The credit union’s ongoing efforts are vast and varied. Its student-run branch program has grown to 10 elementary and middle schools, and there are plans to add 10 more school locations in 2008. Michigan First also has a branch in Southfield-Lathrup High School that employs the students. Through its MoneyKids (ages 0-12) and MoneyTeen (ages 13-17) programs, Michigan First also encourages children and teens to save money and teaches financial responsibility that grows with them. In addition, Michigan First also provides scholarship programs for local high school seniors, and sponsors many community initiatives and groups–including the Good Schools Essay Contest presented by the Skillman Foundation and the Good Schools Resource Center at Marygrove College, Detroit Metro Youth Day, Southfield Lathrup Junior Optimist Club and Career Day program, Detroit Public School Chess program and Detroit Executive Service Corps.

Criteria for the Generation Next Award include progressive efforts through areas such as classroom involvement, legislative efforts regarding financial literacy, student-run credit unions, and youth account services and/or staffing.