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News Now

CU System
CU in Galveston reports Money Mission success
GALVESTON, Texas (8/22/11)--Coastal Community FCU in Galveston, Texas, has been offering Money Mission for just three weeks and said it already is impressed with the response it has garnered. Money Mission is an interactive Web-based simulation designed to educate users (mainly targeted to 16- to 19-year-olds) in the fundamentals of financial literacy. It is made available to credit unions through a partnership between the Credit Union National Association and the Wisconsin Credit Union League. Money Mission includes inputs from external data such as stock market prices and cost of living changes; user choices in the area of life-event choices; money management; a user configurable experience including customizable characters (“avatars”) and selectable vehicles; and animated lessons teaching users critical financial principles. “It’s been three weeks and we already have 218 gamers coming from all over Texas,” Carol Gaylord, president/CEO of the $40.6 million asset credit union, told News Now. “We haven’t done a lot of advertising yet, so I’m amazed at the response. Kids are in a hurry to learn, so I’m thrilled. “When I heard the statistic that more college students file for bankruptcy than graduate, I knew we had to reach and teach our high school students financial literacy,” Gaylord added. The key reason Gaylord said she’s excited about Money Mission is because the main avenue to reach kids nowadays is through multi-media--what she calls “an online playing field.” She has big plans for Money Mission in the credit union’s future. “We had a back-to-school week event [Aug. 13] and 325 kids were there,” Gaylord said. “We gave out free school supplies and immunizations, and advertised Money Mission. We had a video game truck there called ‘Road Gamers,’ and hopefully next year we can tie that into Money Mission.” Coastal Community FCU also plans to show Money Mission videos on TVs in the lobbies of its branches; to ask area high school teachers to incorporate Money Mission into their school’s curriculum; and to incorporate Money Mission through the local Rotary “Interact Club” for high school students. “My favorite part of the program is that it offers national scholarships to seniors who submit an essay about what they learned playing Money Mission,” Gaylord said. “The participating credit unions fund the scholarships. The more credit unions participate, the more scholarships are awarded.”


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