DC Credit Union's Decade of Changing Young Lives

Since its launch in 2010, the DC Credit Union’s Summer Youth Employment Program has helped young members earn an income, save money, and build financial wellness.

JMFA Thumbdownload 3Over the course of nearly a dozen years, a financial education program from DC Credit Union has impacted the lives of thousands of youngsters in the nation’s capital.

Launched in 2010, DC CU’s Summer Youth Employment Program was designed to provide banking services for teenagers holding down their first jobs — primarily those between the ages of 16 and 18 — but the initiative proved so popular that after its first year the credit union expanded the age range from 14 to 24.

The program is part of a partnership with Bank On DC, a collaboration between the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, multiple financial institutions, and nonprofits focused on providing access to affordable financial services for un- and under-banked households in the region. Organizers at the credit union envisioned it as a way to not only help DC teens — and later young adults — develop savings accounts and financial literacy but also expose them to the benefits of credit union membership.

“We needed to engage and keep the attention of our new young members,” says LaTesha Wheeler, the credit union’s youth outreach coordinator. “We found that once you lose their attention and interest, it’s like starting all over again.”

Through its affiliation with the Department of Employment Services (DOES), the program offers a wide range of job opportunities, such as working for community-based organizations, along with district and federal agencies, including the Department of Parks and Recreation.

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