RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (12/21/07)--Recent community service grants given to credit unions will benefit youth in Santa Cruz County and immigrant college students in Southern California. The Richard Myles Johnson (RMJ) Foundation, the state foundation for credit unions in California and Nevada, gave $56,150 in community service grants to Orange County’s CU in Santa Ana and Santa Cruz Community CU in Santa Cruz. A second donation of $50,000 was made to season two of the Biz Kid$ television series. Orange County’s CU’s $40,000 grant will help the credit union’s partnership with two local organizations, including the Cerritos College Foundation in Norwalk. The Cerritos College Health Opportunity Pipeline for Education is designed to increase the number of underrepresented students in the health profession. It also includes a component developed by the credit union that offers community workshops on financial aid and investing in education. The credit union also is working with the Long Beach Community Hispanic Association program, which is scheduled to debut in spring 2008, to turn area youth into peer trainers for their communities. Part of the association’s Latinos Investing for Tomorrow program includes a financial literacy component developed by the credit union. Santa Cruz Community CU’s $16,150 grant will support the credit union’s new financial literacy program targeting foster youth in the county. The pilot program will begin with five of the area’s 35 to 40 youth on track to leave the foster care system as they get older. The goal is to teach youth how to manage a budget, living expenses, and accumulate savings. Participants also can open individual development accounts at the credit union. “We hope the initial group of foster youth will become the cornerstone of a successful literacy and savings program that will eventually reach more youth in our community,” said Ginger McNally, Santa Cruz Community CU CEO. The RMJ Foundation provides community service grants to support credit union efforts in spreading financial literacy to young people.