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Money Matters Blog

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

It’s Back to School Time for Our Student-Run Credit Union Team

Julie Blaylock, Erin Ilg, and Jeremy Cybulski hold their
awards from the NYIB Conference.
It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over and the school year is about to begin! Back to school time means another busy and productive year for our Student-Run Credit Union Team.

Each year we partner with Michigan school districts to operate student-run credit unions and expose thousands of students to money management skills. Selected students learn the banking business as credit union tellers, branch managers, marketing representatives, computer operators and accountants. Between our north and south districts, we are currently up to 47 school partnerships!

Our Motivation 
We continue to invest a lot of time and energy into teaching financial education because we believe children are the future of our communities. Community Financial is very serious about our commitment to education and as the credit union grows, so will our number of school partnerships. Whether it is through new classroom presentations, student credit unions, or some form of financial education event, we are always looking to break new ground and further our efforts in the communities we serve.

“The most important things I think students take from their volunteer experience is learning about the process of getting a job (applying, interviewing, training, etc.) but also the expectations and responsibilities that come with having a real job,” said Senior Education Partnership Coordinator Jeremy Cybulski. “We know that not all of the students will go on to have careers in finance, but our program teaches them skills that are important for whatever professional path they choose.”

New Programming 
In addition to running the student-run credit union program, our Education Partnership Coordinators give classroom presentations on financial topics throughout the school year. This year our team will introduce fun new lessons to teach students about managing their money.

We’ve incorporated a number of new curriculum based, in-house presentations at the elementary and middle school levels. Most are interactive, mental math lessons with different, fun themes like “Teddy Bear Picnic” and the “General Store.” We even have one that involves surviving a zombie apocalypse! Our classroom presentations reached over 21,000 students last school year. We’re aiming for at least 24,000 this year!

National Recognition 
Recently Community Financial received some national recognition for our youth outreach. The National Youth Involvement Board (NYIB) annual conference was held in San Antonio, TX from July 25-29th and brought together financial educators, marketing and youth experts from all over the country. At the awards ceremony, our team members were recognized for their financial education efforts in two different categories:
  • For Students Reached ($500-$999 million asset category)  
    • Julie Blaylock- 1st place (3930 students reached) 
    • Erin Ilg- 2nd place (3629 students) 
    • Jeremy Cybulski- 4th place (3290 students) 
    • Suzanne Sundberg- 5th place (3148 students) 
  • For Presentations Given ($500-$999 million asset category) 
    • Jeremy Cybulski- 2nd place 
    • Julie Blaylock- 3rd place 
We are proud to lead the way nationally in financial education! If you know a school that is looking for financial education or some other form of partnership, please let us know. We also work with libraries, scout troops, church and other community organizations to offer assistance with financial education. To learn more about our school credit union program visit

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