SAN ANTONIO (8/24/11)--Generations FCU in San Antonio designed its “No Suckers Here” program to convey the importance to youth of being prepared to deal with personal financial matters, said the Texas Credit Union League. The program works with high schools, colleges and universities in the area. Generations meets with school administrators to determine the specific needs of their student body and then tailors a program designed to fit those needs (LoneStar Leaguer Aug. 23). “The financial education of our children is one of the most important initiatives that a credit union can undertake,” said Generations CEO Tim F. Haegelin. “These programs reach out and guide students as they begin down the path to financial independence.” One partner is Palo Alto College (PAC). Generations met with its administrators and determined that many PAC students have different needs than traditional college students. Many students come from low-income families, most are first-generation college students, and nearly all work jobs as they pursue their degrees. Few of PAC’s students have a primary financial institution; they use payday lenders instead. The credit union tailored a six-week program that covered such topics as basics of banking, budgeting and savings; decision-making; living on your own; identity theft; and getting out of financial trouble. Generations also provided similar financial education programs to faculty, administrators and parents. Generations said that when these concepts are adopted at home and reiterated at school, they are reinforced in the mind of the student. Generations points out that its education classes are not lectures. Facebook, YouTube, blogs, and video blogs are some of the methods it used to engage students. The credit union launched the “No Suckers Here” in three schools, and within five months, their program expanded to five high schools and two colleges. The credit union is on task to double those numbers this school year. “No Suckers Here” helped Generations win a 2011 Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award, earning first place in the $150 million to $500 million in assets category at state level competition. Generations now advances to judging by the Credit Union National Association at the national level.