FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (4/20/12)--The Texas Credit Union Foundation honored the dedication, commitment and hard work of Texas' best financial literacy advocates with its annual FOCUS Awards.
The awards were given during the Texas Credit Union League's 78th Annual Meeting & Convention in Galveston Wednesday (LoneStar Leaguer
- Generations FCU in San Antonio in the credit union category;
- The Fort Worth Chapter of Credit Unions in the organization category; and
- Kelsey Balcaitis of A+ FCU in Austin, who received a Foundation Focus Network Member award.
Generations FCU was commended for collaborating with private and public schools, as well as colleges and universities to ensure that students of all ages have access to resources and to make smart financial choices. The credit union offers NerdWallet.com, an online financial literacy library, and its "No Suckers Here" employee-driven program that helps students in local high schools, colleges and universities understand basic financial concepts.
The Fort Worth Chapter of Credit Unions earned accolades for sponsoring CU 4 Reality Fairs at two different local middle schools, reaching more than 300 students. Financial reality fairs give young people the opportunity to participate in a hands-on event that guides them through the personal financial management process, including budgeting, saving and investing in a simulated real-world environment.
Balcaitis was recognized for being a dedicated advocate for improving the financial knowledge of young people. Under her direction, A+ FCU operated a Youth Financial Camp for the past two years. In her role as community education specialist, Balcaitis developed the "Business Proposal Challenge" for the credit union's first Youth Financial Camp in 2010. The goal of the challenge is to give campers hands-on experience with being an entrepreneur.
For the 2011 camp, Balcaitis developed the "Great Money Race," an interactive board game that tests campers' financial knowledge and decision-making skills. In 2011, 117 young people attended the summer camp-- a 60% increase from the previous year.