ONTARIO, Calif. (9/25/12)--The California and Nevada Credit Leagues have announced the winners of the states' Louise Herring Philosophy in Action Award, the Desjardin Financial Education Award, the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award and the Community Outreach Award.
Meriwest CU, based in San Jose, Calif., is the 2012 recipient of the Community Outreach Award. The award honors credit unions and chapters for outstanding community outreach efforts.
Meriwest won in the $1-billion-plus asset credit union category. As the Community Outreach recipient, the credit union's entry also received a first-place statewide award in its asset category in the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award program, which recognizes credit unions for socially responsible community projects that are external to the credit union.
Meriwest was honored for its "Financial Education for All" program it launched in 2008 as the recession deepened. The credit union, seeing a need for financial education for youth and adults, reached out to schools and social services agencies as part of this new program. It has since worked with several agencies, community organizations and schools to develop specially customized financial education programs. More than 200 community members have participated in its employment skills workshops, and more than 3,800 middle and high school students have learned how to create a working budget.
Judges from the Mountain West Credit Union Association cited Meriwest CU's "positive changes crossing all income barriers." Also, they cited the number of staff members involved in teaching the free financial literacy classes. The "time and effort that went into (those) free classes were amazing," the judges noted.
The Golden 1 CU won a first-place state award in the Louise Herring for Philosophy in Action Award program. Based in Sacramento, Calif., the credit union won in the $1 billion-plus asset category for its successful operation of two in-high school branches. The Herring award honors credit unions for their practical application of the "people helping people philosophy."
San Diego-based Mission FCU received a first-place Desjardins Youth Financial Educational Award in the more-than-$500-million-asset category for its "Mission 2 $AVE" program, an onsite program for elementary schools to help them educate students on the benefits and responsibilities towards good savings habits.
San Mateo CU in Redwood City, Calif., received a first-place Desjardins Adult Financial Educational Award in the more-than-$500-million category for its various programs, including its finance education programs at community organizations and underserved communities.
Winners of the Herring, Maxwell and Desjardins awards will compete in the national competition presented by the Credit Union National Association.