Oregon State Credit Union’s Philomath branch
Oregon State Credit Union’s Philomath branch (File photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Oregon State Credit Union received a silver level Youth Desjardins award from the Credit Union National Association for its financial education success, the organization announced this week.

The Northwest Credit Union Association — a regional affiliate of CUNA — announced the award during a virtual awards ceremony Dec. 2.

“Financial education is a cornerstone at Oregon State Credit Union,” Christine Ruzzi, NWCUA’s assistant vice president, Enterprise Engagement Resources, said in a press release. “Last year, the team’s efforts reached more than 9,000 people, helping them to better understand how to manage their finances.”

Oregon State Credit Union has branch offices in 15 communities, including Philomath.

The Youth Desjardins award recognizes the credit union for making financial education more broadly available in schools through its “Train the Trainer” program, which helps teachers present financial basics in their classrooms. The credit union also expanded its traveling Financial Reality Fair program for students and increased the library of “grab-and-go” resources.

“In our current environment, being financially wise is critical to individual success,” said Oregon State Credit Union President/CEO Rick Hein. “We are thrilled to sponsor resources so more young people can have the opportunity to learn to thrive financially.”

The Alphonse Desjardins award is named for one of the credit union movement’s pioneers. Desjardins founded the first credit unions in the United States and Canada, and pioneered youth savings clubs and credit union branches in schools.