A New Generation of Members from High School Branches

Yesterday’s blog described an effort to open two student branches in 1974 in Burbank California.   Their purpose was twofold: expand the credit union’s FOM and educate students about the credit union model.    The effort ended in 2011.

However high school student-run branches continue today.  CUSO Magazine recently wrote about an example in Texas that is especially successful.  Here are some brief excerpts from that article:

The Credit Union of Texas’s SMART Branch

The Credit Union of Texas (CUTX), located in Dallas-Fort Worth, recognized the significant gap in financial literacy among young people and decided to make a difference. In an effort to bring financial education to students, they connected with leaders of local high schools, creating partnerships through which they could collaborate to tackle the issue at hand. Through their motivation to increase financial literacy among youths, the credit union and its partners came up with the idea to open branches within local high schools and let the students take the reins.

These “SMART” (Servant leadership, Motivation, Active learning, Reasoning, and Technology) Branches are run by juniors and seniors, with one credit union staff member to supervise. The first, located in Allen High School in Dallas-Fort Worth, was opened back in August 2021, the success of which inspired the creation of a second branch merely a year later, which opened on January 10th, 2022, at Little Elm High School of Little Elm, Texas. . .

Students helping students

In order to achieve widespread financial literacy in the school, CUTX developed a financial literacy program that involves student employees of the branch acting as financial literacy coaches to their classmates. In preparing for their presentations, students employees are provided with additional education on the topics, including money management, loans, credit, investing, and more. CUTX permanent employees also provide informative sessions on various topics, including home equity loans, refinancing, and auto loans to Little Elm High School faculty and staff. . .

The full article can be found here.


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