August 31st, 2015-1st Financial Federal Credit Union completes the second year of its partnership with the City of St. Louis and Treasurer Tishaura Jones as the financial literacy advocate for the Summer Youth Employment and Financial Capability Program.
According to the FDIC’s Economic Inclusion Survey, in 2013 29.3% of all Missouri households were considered either unbanked or underbanked while the national average was 27.7%. High unbanked and underbanked percentages often have a direct influence on the poverty level of a region. In order to combat this trend, 1st Financial Federal Credit Union partnered with STL Youth Jobs for their Summer Youth Employment and Financial Capabilities Program to serve the underbanked population of St. Louis.
The Summer Youth Employment and Financial Capability Program employs eligible youth between the ages of 16 and 24 from the middle of May through August. Participants earn a competitive wage while building confidence, responsibility, references, soft skills, and financial literacy. Since May of 2014, 1st Financial has taught financial empowerment courses during orientation while covering topics including building credit, how payday lenders work, and the importance of having a savings. Additionally, 1st Financial developed no fee checking and savings accounts specifically for STL Youth Jobs.
The accounts are linked to debit cards to promote ease of use and encourage saving behavior by offering direct deposit and automatic allocations to savings accounts. To date, STL Youth Jobs participants have saved over $40,516.06 into 1199 accounts.
“The Summer Youth Jobs program has increased financial literacy among young employees,” said City of St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones. “Our partnership has provided free checking and saving accounts to every program participant. We are giving youth the financial education needed to ensure that they have access to safe financial services and a solid foundation to save their money which will produce long-term residual effects.”
Lisa Potts of the St. Louis Unbanked Taskforce described her experience with STL Youth Jobs members where the youth created a Youth Financial magazine: On the Money STL. “We were grateful to be able to participate in the Summer Jobs Program. Starting from the ground up, our dream of creating a financially focused magazine for young adults came true in part because of the hard work of students from the program.”
She continued, saying “Our employees were highly capable, motivated and acted as leaders within our group. They helped us promote our mission of financial literacy to their peers– helping to educate younger members of our community in order to build future generations of financially capable individuals. “
For more information about the Summer Youth Employment Program, please visit http://stlyouthjobs.org/.
For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union and the credit union difference, please visit www.1stfinancialfcu.org
Pictured: Tracy Verner (left), Community Development Manager at 1st Financial Federal Credit Union and Carol Minges (right), Chief Executive Officer of 1st Financial Federal Credit Union with a STL Youth Jobs participant during orientation.
About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union
Like many credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative committed to providing quality services to the membership while demonstrating safe and sound business practices. 1st Financial Federal Credit Union was chartered on September 3, 1968 as District 837 Credit Union by the International Association of Machinist members employed by McDonnell Douglas. For over 45 years, 1st Financial has provided members with a full line of dependable financial products and services which returns profits to the members in the form of reasonable rates on loans and higher savings yields.
Today, with over 30,000 members and $204 million in assets, 1st Financial is able to serve anyone who lives, works (regularly does business in), worships or attends school in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County or St. Charles County. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government.
Not a credit union member? Visit www.TheBetterWayToBank.org for more information.