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Money Smart Week: HCUA, Vantage Credit Union Spread Financial Literacy

Both Vantage Credit Union (St. Louis, MO) and Heartland Credit Union Association (HCUA) participated in Money Smart Week, April 23-30, 2016. Money Smart Week is a public awareness campaign focused on promoting financial literacy and building better skills for managing individual and family budgets and resources.

This is a collaborative effort. Nationwide, businesses, financial institutions, schools, libraries, non-profits, government agencies and media come together to:

  • stress the importance of financial literacy
  • inform consumers about where they can get help
  • provide free educational seminars and activities  

Programming is offered to all demographics and income levels and covers all facets of personal finance from establishing a budget to first-time home buying to estate planning. The effort was created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002.

HCUA Teaches Financial Education, Shares Credit Union Difference at Lincoln University

During Money Smart Week HCUA's David Kent shared financial tips with students of Lincoln University (Jefferson City, MO). He also raised awareness of credit unions by outlining the differences between credit unions and banks. 

"College students don't often get the chance to sit down and talk about budgeting basics or student debt," says David. "Truly understanding student debt and how to manage it can save them hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in the long run."

In addition, David explained how credit unions help their members improve their financial lives through financial education and counseling. 

"Credit unions offer many great financial resources to their members and their communities," says David. "Think of the difference it would make if more people utilized these free services and had the skills to make smarter financial decisions." 

Caption: David Kent shares the importance of budgeting and managing student debt during his presentation in the Inman E. Page Library at Lincoln University on April 29.

Vantage Credit Union Participates in 5th Annual Money Smart Week

In the St. Louis area, Money Smart Week was sponsored by the Greater St. Louis Financial Education Collaborative, compromised of the United Way of Greater St. Louis and over 100 non-profit business organizations, including Vantage Credit Union.

“Education is the key to being Money Smart. Money Smart Week, seeks to not only educate our communities on essential financial skills, it also seeks to help youth so they, too, can become wise consumers,” commented Rachel Parrent, Community Engagement Manager. “As an advocate for financial literacy for over 20 years, Vantage is glad to play a role in helping Money Smart Week reach the communities we serve in and around St. Louis."

The week kicked off with a fun family event at the St. Louis Zoo. Vantage Credit Union, along with several other financial institutions, taught youngsters the importance of financial literacy through interactive games, inspirational displays, and fun giveaways. In addition, Vantage hosted five free financial seminars throughout the rest of the week.

Vantage also co-sponsored the Money Smart Kid Essay Contest, which encourages middle school students to think about making wise financial decisions and understand how money affects their lives and communities.

Vantage employee, Kenneth DeShields, presented a $500 scholarship to Brian Faintich at the recognition ceremony on Saturday, April 23. Brian is an 8th grader at Wentzville Middle School, and was one of 39 students who submitted an essay. Three students were awarded a total of $3,500. 

To learn more about Money Smart Week activities and the organizations who participated, visit the Money Smart St. Louis website.

Caption: Kenneth DeShields is pictured with Brian Faintich, a winner of the Money Smart Kid Essay Contest. 

Did your credit union participate in Money Smart Week? Email your stories to us, or submit them here.