HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union has been making waves in the financial industry by giving students real-world experience through their student-operated credit union initiative. We sat down with HawaiiUSA Financial Wellness Manager, Bryan Yucoco, to discuss this innovative program and its impact on young people involved.
Q: Can you explain the concept behind opening a student-operated credit union? What inspired this idea?
Bryan Yucoco (BY): When we opened our first student-operated credit union, the whole idea and concept was to give students access to an environment where they get the feel of working in a financial institution. The inspiration came from our commitment to improving financial literacy among youth, and what better way than providing them hands-on experience in managing finances?
We believe that learning about personal finance should not only be theoretical but also practical. With this program, students learn how to manage accounts, interact with customers professionally, solve problems – all while developing essential life skills like budgeting and saving money.
Q: How have schools and communities responded to these student-run branches so far?
BY: The response from schools and communities has been overwhelmingly positive. They recognize that fostering financial literacy at an early age is crucial for long-term success. Teachers appreciate how it complements classroom lessons about money management as well as other subjects such as math or economics.
Parents are thrilled because they see their children become more responsible when it comes to handling money matters. Moreover, community members who use the services provided by these branches benefit from interacting with enthusiastic young professionals eager to help them manage their finances responsibly.
One example is Kaimuki High School’s branch which launched last year; since then it has garnered widespread acclaim for its professionalism training approach towards empowering financially capable individuals within local neighborhoods.
Q: What do you hope will be the long-term impact of this program on students and their financial futures?
BY: Our primary goal is to equip students with the necessary skills, knowledge, and tools to navigate their financial lives successfully. We hope that by introducing them to real-life situations through our student-operated credit union branches, they will develop a strong foundation in responsible money management.
As these young people grow up and enter the workforce or pursue higher education, we believe that they will be better prepared for making informed decisions about budgeting, saving, investing, borrowing – all aspects of personal finance that can greatly influence one's life trajectory.
In addition to individual benefits accrued from participation in such initiatives like our student-run branches initiative here at HawaiiUSA FCU; we also anticipate positive ripple effects spreading throughout communities via increased rates of financial literacy awareness among families who engage with services provided by these institutions ultimately enhancing socio-economic wellbeing across society as whole.
HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union's innovative approach towards promoting financial literacy among youth has proven successful thus far. Through empowering future generations with practical experience in managing finances responsibly today; it sets a solid framework for creating prosperous societies tomorrow.