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CU helps build young CU advocates with grant
SANTA ANA, Calif. (5/12/08)--Orange County's CU helped turn 14 young people into peer trainers, financially aware consumers and credit union advocates, with help from a community service grant from the Richard Myles Johnson (RMJ) Foundation.
Long Beach, Calif., and state Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-27) recognized Orange County's CU (OCCU), the Richard Myles Johnson (RMJ) Foundation, Long Beach Community Hispanic Association (Centro CHA) and its Latinos Investing for Tomorrow (LIFT) program at the graduation of 14 new peer trainers/credit union advocates. From left: OCCU's Maria Haq, Long Beach branch manager, and Leticia Mata, assistant vice president of community and education development; Jessica Quintana, Centro CHA executive director; and Tena Lozano, RMJ Foundation executive director. (Photo provided by Orange County's CU)
The $15,000 grant from RMJ--the state foundation for credit unions in California and Nevada--helped expand the Santa Ana-based credit union's partnership with Long Beach Community Hispanic Association (Centro CHA) for its Latinos Investing for Tomorrow (LIFT) program. The program aims to turn young people living in impoverished communities in the Greater Long Beach area into peer trainers in their communities. It includes a financial literacy component developed by the credit union. Some of the funds went to providing $500 stipends for each of the 14 graduates, aged 16 to 22. They attended six workshops on Saturdays to learn how to be active and informed advocates in their home, school and community. The financial literacy component included instruction on budgeting, the value of money, the value of credit, and saving and investments. Participants also completed 40 hours of community service and took field trips, including one to a local branch of the $861.6 million asset credit union. After the field trip, the new advocates spread the word about the credit union difference, which resulted in the opening of 27 new accounts, said Leticia Mata, assistant vice president of community and education development at the credit union.
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