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CU System
Teachers legacy The model for student-run CUs
DENVER (5/21/08)--When Kent Denver School math teacher Donna Duvall-Serrano retires on Friday, she will have left behind a hefty financial literacy legacy that will continue through students she has taught and the student-run credit union, Kent Denver Student CU, she organized 24 years ago.
Math teacher Donna Duvall-Serrano, left, will retire Friday after 24 years leading one of the nation's first--and largest--student-run credit unions, Kent Denver Student CU, a partner of Westerra CU. With her are Westerra President/CEO C. Alan Peppers, and Tracy Wittmer, who will succeed her as branch manager. (Photo provided by Westerra CU)
In 1984, Duvall-Serrano was instrumental in establishing one of the nation's first student-run credit unions, Lowry FCU, which became the nation's largest student-run credit union. The credit union also was called Gateway CU. Today, as Kent Denver Student CU, it is a branch of Westerra CU, a $923.6 million asset credit union in Denver. It has $2 million in assets. "Donna's dedication and commitment to financial literacy and her students are nationally renowned," said C. Alan Peppers, president/CEO of Westerra. "The Kent Denver CU is the model for student-run credit unions across the country. What Donna and the students have accomplished is truly amazing." Students apply for about 20 positions each year to operate the credit union, helping other students learn financial responsibility. Each year a senior is selected president, supported by officers and teller staff who operate the credit union during lunch hours every school day. It offers Kent's 655 students (sixth through 12th graders) everything, from their first checking account and first credit card to savings accounts and spending money--and in many cases, their first job. To ensure that the credit union's success continues, Duvall-Serrano has been working with Tracy Wittmer, who will succeed her as branch manager.


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