BOULDER CITY, Nev. — While most credit unions say they would like to attract younger members, Boulder Dam CU reports a remarkable 85% penetration of 18-to-29 year olds in its field of membership.
So how did this $507 million institution, which serves a small community southeast of Las Vegas, do it?
One big reason: a commitment to youth financial education that has grown into a program known as "Understanding Your Money," or UYM.
Dr. Brandi Stankovic, partner at Las Vegas-based CU consultancy Mitchell, Stankovic & Associates, has been part of Boulder Dam CU for a long time. She opened her first "Moola-Moola" account in 1989. Today, she is a member, consultant and acting senior executive of human resources. (The CU's moniker hearkens back to the original name of what is now known as the Hoover Dam.)
In 2003, BDCU asked Stankovic to help create a financial literacy program to reach high school-aged youth in the community. The board of directors and executive team offered an incentive of $100 to seniors and $50 to juniors to take the 3-hour class.
The first UYM program was based on the principles other credit unions were teaching their members: checking, credit and savings. When Stankovic taught the first class she was just a few years older than the high school attendees.
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