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CU's Student Branch Wins Progress Minnesota Award
ST. PAUL, Minn. (2/13/13)--Hometown CU has been recognized with Finance and Commerce's Progress Minnesota award for opening the state's first student-run, in-school credit union branch.

HomeTown CU hosted a grand opening event for its in-school branch office in January 2012. The credit union received the Finance & Commerce Progress Minnesota award for opening the state's first student-run, in-school credit union branch. (Photo provided by the Minnesota Credit Union Network)
The Progress Minnesota program recognizes individuals, entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations driving economic growth and development in innovative ways. Of this year's 27 honorees, the Owatonna, Minn. credit union is the only financial institution to make the list.

HomeTown CU opened the student-run branch in the fall of 2011 after working for five years with teachers, the school board and school administrators of Owatonna High School.

"We really pushed the financial literacy component when we proposed this idea (for the student credit union branch)," said Marian Murphy, vice president of business growth at the credit union. "Financial education is not a requirement in Minnesota schools, but just having a student credit union branch can help spark students' interest in financial education."

The primary objective of the branch is to promote financial literacy, Murphy said. Seven students work in the branch. The office acts as a resource for the high school's business and marketing classes, and extracurricular business clubs. The credit union included students in focus groups and product development and marketing campaigns.

HomeTown's long-term goal is to have students develop and implement their own business plan for the branch.
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