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1st Financial FCU & STL Youth Jobs Provide Financial Products, Education to Underserved Youth

On Friday, May 23, representatives from 1st Financial Federal Credit Union continued their partnership with STL Youth Jobs by participating in a job fair and presenting a $10,000 grant to help the program hire a financial empowerment specialist. The financial empowerment specialist will work with STL Youth Jobs participants during the summer to develop savings habits and help the youth work towards achieving their financial dreams.

“On behalf of everyone at 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, we are proud to be a part of STL Youth Jobs, and we are happy to lend our expertise to the program’s success," says Carol Minges, CEO of 1st Financial Federal Credit Union. “1st Financial actively promotes financial empowerment. We want to see the youth we serve build healthy financial habits that will help them for the rest of their lives.”

STL Youth Jobs was created to train St. Louis youth to be ready to join the workforce by providing financial literacy programs, job readiness training and individualized career assessment. It was formed in 2012 by a group of St. Louisans, including the City of St. Louis Mayor’s office, the Greater St. Louis Community Foundation, MERS Goodwill, the Incarnate Word Foundation and the St. Louis Youth Violence Prevention Taskforce. STL Youth Jobs provides employment opportunities for young people aged 16-24 while working to ensure future economic growth for the region.

Since 2014, 1st Financial has partnered with St. Louis Youth Employment Programs to offer financial literacy education and open 196 savings and checking accounts for program participants. These accounts have special limits built into them so that the youth do not experience fees when using their debit card. Additionally, these accounts are set up with automatic paycheck withdrawals which are transferred into a primary savings account to help form positive saving habits.

“Helping our St. Louis young adults save their hard-earned money and to fully fund their goals are at the very core of our existence as a credit union. STL Youth Jobs is an outstanding program that will help us reach out to and engage the next generation,” says Minges. 

With an average savings allocation of $48 per paycheck and total savings of about $2,000 biweekly, these young adults were able to save a total of $24,000 over the course of the 2014 program. Since the start of 2015, 1st Financial has opened approximately 500 new accounts for youth and estimates that this total will reach 2,500 by the end of the year.