MADISON, Wis. (11/24/08)--The 2008 national Desjardins Youth Financial Education Awards have been announced. A new record was set for participation, with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) receiving more than 50 entries. “This year’s awards recognize extraordinary achievement in youth financial education that occurred before the current economic downturn,” said CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica. “Now that more and more Americans are struggling to stretch their finances in a time of rising unemployment and budgetary stress, these programs can serve as a model response. “The credit union movement has always championed financial self-reliance. The 2008 Desjardins winners show us the way to preparing today’s youth--and their families--to plan and work for a return to economic prosperity,” he added. The awards recognize leadership within the credit union movement on behalf of youth financial literacy. Credit union organizations winning Desjardins Awards include:
* Arapahoe CU, Centennial, Colo.; * LA DOTD FCU, Denham Springs, La.; * Rogue FCU, Medford, Ore.; * Sonoma County Grange CU, Santa Rosa, Calif.; * Credit Union Association of New York; and the * Maine Credit Union League.
Desjardins Award honorable mentions went to:
* Arlington Virginia FCU; * Syracuse (N.Y.) Cooperative FCU; * Dakota Plains CU, Edgeley, N.D.; * Denver (Colo.) Community CU; * DuPont Community CU, Waynesboro, Va.; * MECU of Baltimore (Md.) Inc.; and * Winston-Salem City (N.C.) Employees' CU.
Desjardins judge Amy Crowe of Summit CU, Madison, Wis., singled out Rogue FCU. The credit union responded to a request from local schools for money for a field trip by supplying staff to help teach the 20-hour entrepreneurial curriculum that related to the trip. "Rogue FCU made a deep impact in youth financial literacy in a specific area that showed direct results with students,” Crowe said. Summaries of the winning and honorable mention programs will appear on CUNA’s website. The entries also will be displayed at CUNA’s 2009 Governmental Affairs Conference, where the Desjardins awards will be presented in conjunction with the Dora Maxwell and Louise Herring awards. The Desjardins Award is named in honor of Alphonse Desjardins, the founder of the North American credit union movement. It considers all activities supporting the personal finance education of young members and nonmembers, including, but not limited to, face-to-face teaching of youth, publicity and issue education, lobbying for curriculum and/or testing requirements, and teacher and classroom volunteer training. Desjardins established the first "caisse populaire" (people’s bank) in Quebec in 1900, and helped establish the first American credit union in New Hampshire in 1909. He was an ardent believer in the value of teaching children to save, and he actively promoted the idea of in-school savings programs (caisses scolaires).