NCUF Grant Helping Teens Become Financially Savvy in New York

A Foundation Innovation Grant at Work

A NCUF Innovation Grant at WorkThe Money & Me financial education workshop from the New York Credit Union Foundation (NYCUF) is helping teenagers across New York learn how to manage money. Initially piloted in 2009, a National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) Innovation Grant last year helped expand Money & Me to reach more high school students. NYCUF is looking to extend the Money & Me program’s reach further in 2011 with additional NCUF grant support.

NYCUF’s Money & Me
Money & Me is a financial education program designed by NYCUF just for teens. Credit unions across New York offer Money & Me workshops throughout the year—typically during summer, winter and spring breaks. Using an award-winning curriculum and interactive, hands-on activities, credit union staff teach teens essential financial skills—skills like budgeting, saving, maintaining a checking account, managing credit, planning for the future and more. Along the way, participating teens become financially savvy while having fun with their peers.

In 2009, NYCUF piloted the Money & Me program with 6 credit unions conducting 6 sessions serving approximately 80 students. Assisted by an Innovation Grant from the National Credit Union Foundation in 2010, NYCUF expanded the program with 15 credit unions conducting a total of 19 sessions for 270 teenagers. Credit unions are provided with all the materials necessary to conduct the workshops.

“I need to learn how to manage my money. If you mess that up, things are not going to work out well for you,” said Donte Trezevant, an 18-year-old who attended a Money & Me workshop last summer sponsored by Buffalo Metropolitan Federal Credit Union in Buffalo, N.Y. The workshop was profiled in the Buffalo News (read the article “Area Teens Huddle to Learn about Money Management” here).

The National Credit Union Foundation also recently announced that NYCUF will receive a grant in 2011 for phase two of Money & Me. Phase two will allow NYCUF to develop alternate versions of workshop curriculum to meet the diversified needs of credit unions and to tell the stories of the students and parents that benefit from this program in order to raise the profile of New York credit unions and the credit union movement.

Source: NYCUF

Money & Me program participants from Union Settlement FCU in New York, N.Y.

“Money & Me is a perfect fit for credit unions in New York,” said Christopher Morris, NCUF’s Director of Communications. “Financial education is a core philosophy of credit unions and both the New York Credit Union Foundation and the National Credit Union Foundation. We look forward to watching the program progress and continue to make a difference in teenager’s lives.”

Follow-up surveys after the Money & Me workshops revealed that most students are saving more and a few stated that they are keeping budgets and tracking their spending. When asked about exploring long term investment options, 37% said they would purchase a Certificate of Deposit (CD) and 16% said they would start an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

“We had great feedback from the community regarding what a wonderful opportunity the Money & Me program was for local youth,” said Pamela Nolan, Chief Operating Officer at Ticonderoga FCU in Ticonderoga, N.Y., which sponsored a workshop in 2010. “It’s a fantastic program, and I would recommend it unconditionally.”

An Innovation Grant at Work
NCUF Innovation Grants are made possible by supporters of the Foundation and the Community Investment Fund (CIF), an award-winning system of investments that help credit unions earn dividends while donating to national and state community development programs.

This “Innovation Grant at Work” is part of a series highlighting NCUF grantees making a positive impact in their community and empowering consumers to achieve financial independence through credit unions. Click here to see more grant highlights.