The Desjardins Youth/Adult Financial Education Awards recognizes leadership within the credit union movement on behalf of youth/adult financial literacy. They consider all activities supporting the personal finance education of members and nonmembers, including, but not limited to, face-to-face teaching, publicity, lobbying for curriculum requirements, teacher and volunteer training, and promotion and use of the NEFE High School Financial Planning Program® (HSFPP).

Naming these awards after Alphonse Desjardins emphasizes the movement's long-time commitment to financial literacy. Besides founding the first credit unions in Canada and the U.S., Desjardins pioneered youth savings clubs and in-school "banks," known as caisses scolaires.

For more information on the Desjardins Awards, including secrets of a winning entry, click here.​

2016 Winners - Youth

ASSET CATEGORY: $50-250 million
1st Place: CrossRoads Financial FCU
CrossRoads Youth Advisory Board
The credit union frequently sees many of its adult members living paycheck to paycheck, being careless with their accounts, getting into debt or being a victim of fraud or unfair business practices. As the children of these members began opening accounts, the credit union wanted to help this new generation avoid some of the problems their parents had experienced. So, it formed a Youth Advisory Board (YAB) with a volunteer committee of young members who are juniors and seniors in high school. They provide a voice for young people on how the credit union can better meet their financial literacy needs and serve young adult members. YAB members also receive financial education that can help them personally. Two notable results of the YAB are a YouTube video that outlined basic money smarts and an event called “Making it Rain – Financial Feud,” a game show-style event where student players compete for prizes while answering financial questions. The event includes food, music and take-home financial literacy materials.

2016 Winners - Adult

ASSET CATEGORY: $50-250 million
1st Place: Afena FCU
Claire, the Afena Blog Mom
The credit union started “Claire the Afena blog mom” as a way to reach out to the community, particularly young families, and offer financial advice in a friendly, entertaining way. Claire appears every Sunday in the local newspaper, as well as having a Facebook presence and a blog on the Afena website. The people in the community needed very basic financial education. Tracking spending, understanding credit, and starting an emergency fund are three big pieces that many in the credit union’s service area were lacking. Participation in financial fairs, budget workshops and other events weren’t delivering the way the credit union wanted them to, so Afena FCU turned to storytelling. Through Claire, Afena FCU can have a conversation with people about finances without coming across as patronizing or stuffy. Claire’s tone of voice and subject matter areas are chosen deliberately to be inclusive. Feedback has been excellent and Claire has helped Afena FCU get invitations for public speaking at the Marion Chamber of Commerce, the United Way, and Bank On Marion, among others. Claire also opened the door for the credit union to deliver financial education sessions and materials to other chamber members and the credit union is teaching a 6-week course at an area high school.
 
ASSET CATEGORY: $250 million - $1 billion
1st Place: Financial Center First FCU
Adult Financial Literacy
Study after study shows the majority of Americans can’t answer basic financial questions about interest calculations, mortgage payments, budgeting or investments Financial Center First CU’s adult financial literacy programs are designed to address these knowledge gaps and more. They are led by two employees who are assigned exclusively to financial literacy and member education. One is a Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor with an education background. The other has a background in media and strong ties to the Hispanic community. The credit union offers Wealth Builder Seminars, Lunch-N-Learn opportunities, Hispanic outreach, a partnership with the Mexican Consulate and with area not-for-profit organizations. Special emphasis has been placed on transitioning people from homelessness to financial independence. The credit union is working closely with 11 domestic violence centers. The credit union combines group learning with one-on-one sessions.
 
ASSET CATEGORY: $1 billion and more
1st Place: Teachers CU
TCU Financial Empowerment Program - High School
Teachers CU (TCU) saw the growing need for personal finance education among students and adults and worked with their TCU Foundation to obtain underwriting for the TCU Financial Empowerment Program. Through the program—which is free to participating schools—teachers and students work through the modules and educational resources both inside and outside the classroom. These modules are accessed through teacher and student portals. Additionally, TCU team members are available for presentations in the classrooms as requested by teachers on any personal finance topic. The curriculum is provided by FoolProof, which has named TCU as the exclusive provider of the material in the State of Indiana and in two counties in southwest Michigan. The content meets academic standard for personal finance in Indiana. It is endorsed by the Consumer Federation of America, the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents and the Indiana State Teachers Association. At the launch of the program, TCU announced a unique partnership with the NBA’s Indiana Pacers. Glenn Robinson III is the player who speaks on behalf of the program. He was featured in PSAs that ran at games throughout the season. There were six pilot schools at the start of the 2015-16 academic year. By May 2016 there were 101 teachers from 80 high schools and thousands of students participating in the program. Plans for 2017 include the addition of middle schools.
ASSET CATEGORY: $1 billion and more
1st Place: Teachers CU
TCU Financial Empowerment Program - High School
Teachers CU (TCU) saw the growing need for personal finance education among students and adults and worked with their TCU Foundation to obtain underwriting for the TCU Financial Empowerment Program. Through the program—which is free to participating schools—teachers and students work through the modules and educational resources both inside and outside the classroom. These modules are accessed through teacher and student portals. Additionally, TCU team members are available for presentations in the classrooms as requested by teachers on any personal finance topic. The curriculum is provided by FoolProof, which has named TCU as the exclusive provider of the material in the State of Indiana and in two counties in southwest Michigan. The content meets academic standard for personal finance in Indiana. It is endorsed by the Consumer Federation of America, the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents and the Indiana State Teachers Association. At the launch of the program, TCU announced a unique partnership with the NBA’s Indiana Pacers. Glenn Robinson III is the player who speaks on behalf of the program. He was featured in PSAs that ran at games throughout the season. There were six pilot schools at the start of the 2015-16 academic year. By May 2016 there were 101 teachers from 80 high schools and thousands of students participating in the program. Plans for 2017 include the addition of middle schools.

2015 Winners - Youth

ASSET SIZE: $150-500 million
1st Place: Tech CU
Hey Scouts!
 
ASSET SIZE: $500 million+
1st Place: Financial Center First CU
Education Equals Empowerment for Youth
 
2nd Place: Purdue FCU
PALS Financial Literacy Days 
 
Honorable Mention: Indiana Members CU
IPS #44 Student Incentive Program 
 

2015 Winners - Adult

ASSET SIZE: $150-500 million
1st Place: Via CU
Seminars in the Community
 
ASSET SIZE: $500 million+
1st Place: Financial Center First FCU
Education Equals Empowerment

2014 Winners - Youth

ASSET SIZE: $150-500 million
1st Place: Finance Center FCU

2014 Winners - Adult

ASSET SIZE: $150-500 million
1st Place: Finance Center FCU

2013 Winners - Youth

ASSET SIZE: $150-500 million
1st Place: Finance Center FCU
Youth Financial Education

2013 Winners - Adult

ASSET SIZE: $150-500 million
1st Place: Finance Center FCU
Adult Financial Education

2012 Winners - Youth

ASSET SIZE: $150-500 MILLION
1st Place: Finance Center FCU
Youth Financial Community Outreach
 
ASSET SIZE: $50-150 MILLION
1st Place: Indiana State University FCU
Tiger Cubs Pack #17
 

2012 Winners - Adult

ASSET SIZE: $150-500 MILLION
1st Place: Finance Center FCU
Adult Financial Community Outreach
 

2011 Winners

ASSET SIZE: $150-500 MILLION

1st Place: Finance Center FCU
Financial literacy in the community and a guiding strategies for serving members and the community.

ASSET SIZE: $500 MILLION OR MORE

1st Place: Centra CU
Commitment to improving financial literacy in the community

ASSET SIZE: $150-500 MILLION

1st Place: Finance Center FCU
Incorporating financial education in Indianapolis-area high schools

2010 Winners

ASSET CATEGORY: $50-150 MILLION

First Trust CU
CU in School provides a realistic, student-based point of view on gaining financial literacy

ASSET CATEGORY: $50-500 MILLION

Finance Center FCU
In an age of multi-tasking, multi-faceted strategy employed to educate high school students

2009 Winner

ASSET CATEGORY: OVER $250 MILLION

First Place: Finance Center FCU
Financial Literacy and Student Credit Union Program

2008 Winners

ASSET CATEGORY: $35-75 MILLION

First Place: Independent FCU
AEF/IFCU Grant for Economics

ASSET CATEGORY: $75-250 MILLION

First Place: REGIONAL Federal Credit Union
Setting Goals and Establishing the Groundwork for Good Money Habits

ASSET CATEGORY: OVER $250 MILLION

First Place: Finance Center Federal Credit Union
Financial Literacy & Student Credit Union Program

2007 Winners

ASSET CATEGORY: $250+ MILLION

First Place: Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union
Creative Ways to Teach Children and Parents About Money Concepts

ASSET CATEGORY: $35-$75 MILLION

First Place: Indiana State University Federal Credit Union
Working with Junior Achievement to Present Economics 101

2006 Winners

ASSET CATEGORY: $20 TO $80 MILLION

First Place: Perfect Circle CU
Financial Education Roadshow

Second Place: Evansville FCU
“Together, we’ll make it happen.”

ASSET CATEGORY: OVER $200 MILLION

First Place: Bayer FCU
NEFE education program at the Bashor Children’s Home

2005 Winners

ASSET CATEGORY: $20-$80 MILLION

First place: Perfect Circle CU
Youth Financial Literacy

ASSET CATEGORY: MORE THAN $200 MILLION

First place: Purdue EFCU
PEFCU at School

Honorable mention: Indiana University EFCU
High School Financial Literacy

2004 Winners

ASSET CATEGORY: $20-$80 MILLION

First place: Evansville FCU
Multiple projects for youth financial literacy

ASSET CATEGORY: $200 MILLION AND MORE

First place: Purdue EFCU
Multiple projects to develop youth financial literacy

Second Place: MidWest America FCU
Children and Money Workshops

Honorable Mention: Evansville Teachers FCU
Credit union youth projects, work with community groups

2003 Winners

ASSET CATEGORY: $80 TO $200 MILLION

First Place: Marion School EFCU
 

ASSET CATEGORY: MORE THAN $200 MILLION

First Place: Centra CU

Second Place: Professional FCU