Cal Poly Federal Credit Union Receives State Award for Financial Education

The Cal Poly Federal Credit Union (CPFCU) has received the first place California Credit Union League's statewide Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award, an honor recognizing efforts by credit unions to promote youth financial literacy.

CPFCU received recognition in the asset category of less than $20 million at the state level, and will now advance to the national Desjardins Youth Financial Education Awards, overseen by the Credit Union National Association.

From June 2004 to May 2005, the credit union organized 14 financial education programs and workshops that reached more than 1,250 Cal Poly Pomona students. CPFCU staff serve as guest presenters for Upward Bound, a federally funded program that prepares local, economically disadvantaged high school students for college, and for the Renaissance Scholars program that supports academic and personal aspirations of young adults emancipated from the foster care system.  

In November 2004, the credit union began a partnership with the Office of Financial Aid and Orientation Services to deliver presentations on financing college. The sessions provide freshman and transfer students with information on the resources available through Financial Aid and include tips on managing financial resources with special emphasis on managing credit.

“For many students, college is the first major landmark on the path to independence. Many college students are making financial decisions for the first time without guidance and advice from their parents, ” says CPFCU President Barbara Argo. “The workshops provide students with fundamentals on personal money management and prepare students to make sound decisions when it comes to managing their financial resources.”

The Desjardins Youth Financial Education Awards are administered at the national level by the Credit Union National Administration (CUNA) and at the state level by state credit union leagues. The award considers all activities supporting the personal finance education of youth, including, but not limited to, classroom teaching, publicity, lobbying for curriculum requirements, teacher and volunteer training, and promotion and use of the National Endowment for Financial Educations High School Financial Planning Program.

The award is named in honor of Alphonse Desjardins, the founder of the North American credit union movement who established the first American credit union in New Hampshire in 1909. Desjardins was an ardent believer in the value of teaching children to save, and he promoted the idea of in-school savings programs.