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MECU opens first student-run CU in Baltimore
BALTIMORE (10/13/08)--Municipal Employees Credit Union of Baltimore (MECU), in partnership with the National Academy Foundation High School (NAF)--Baltimore, opened the first student-run credit union in Baltimore Wednesday.
Click to view larger imageParticipating in the ribbon cutting ceremony at Municipal Employees CU of Baltimore’s (MECU) new student-run branch were, from left: Bert J. Hash Jr., president/CEO, MECU; Brian Morris, chair, Baltimore City School Board; Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, president, Baltimore City Council; Darius Johnson, student/MECU teller; Joan Pratt, Baltimore city comptroller; Karen Ndour, principal, National Academy Foundation (NAF), Baltimore; Herman Williams Jr., chair, MECU board of directors; Andres Alonso, CEO, Baltimore City Public Schools; John Sarbanes, U.S. Rep. (D-3rd District); and Jeff Homes, co-chair, NAF board of directors. (Photo provided by Municipal Employees CU of Baltimore)
The MECU branch is the first of its kind in a Baltimore public school. Students can deposit and withdraw funds three weekday mornings from the MECU branch in the lobby of Digital Harbor High School, in which NAF-Baltimore is located. Students from NAF-Baltimore’s Academy of Finance, who will run the MECU branch, took the same two-week training course that all MECU tellers take. MECU Chairman of the Board Herman Williams Jr., and President/CEO Bert J. Hash Jr. were joined by Dr. Andres Alonso, CEO of the Baltimore City Public School System, U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-3rd District), NAF-Baltimore Principal Karen Ndour and more than 200 students, and civic and business leaders for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at NAF-Baltimore. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Alonso was the first person to open an account at the branch. He was followed by Baltimore City Comptroller, Joan Pratt, making a deposit into her existing MECU account. “We are excited to be opening MECU’s first student-run branch at the National Academy Foundation High School--Baltimore,” Hash said. “Students are so enthusiastic about this project and are committed to doing an excellent job, that I see a very strong future for the credit union movement with these young people among its leaders.” “This is an incredibly poignant opportunity for students to learn about the effective management of personal finances,” Ndour said. “NAF-Baltimore provides unique experiences to prepare students for the future; with the opening of the MECU branch, we will equip them with life skills that will be of great value long after graduation.” NAF-Baltimore prepares students for careers in hospitality and tourism, finance, and information technology through work-based learning experiences made possible by partnerships with industry leaders and local businesses like MECU. The school’s curriculum emphasizes both academic excellence and career training with traditional classroom instruction, internships and job shadowing. In 2008, the school achieved a 100% graduation rate and 100% of graduating seniors were accepted to at least one college or trade/technical school.


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