Saving and learning at Wyoming Area

First Posted: 8/1/2013

It pays to learn.

With school set to open a few weeks, the UFCW Federal Credit Union’s branch in Wyoming Area Secondary Center is readying once again to reward students for high marks.

The Pays for As Program rewards students for making the honor roll or getting As in any core classes. If students make high honors, they will get $10 put in their account and $8 for regular honors. If a student doesn’t make the honor roll, they can get $1 per each A. All the student has to do is show their report card to a teller.

Kim DeAngelo, the credit union’s CFO, said the program works well. “If they’re on high honors for the four quarters, they can make $40 just for being a good student.”

The credit union also offers a $500 business school scholarship for a graduating senior.

The branch in the Secondary Center is staffed by Wyoming Area students.

Tori Reno, of Exeter, and Tyler Yarick, of West Pittston, both 17 and both incoming seniors, are tellers at the school branch when it’s open and at the bank’s Wyoming Branch when the school branch is not open.

“I learned a lot about savings and banking in general,” Reno said. “A lot of stuff most kids my age don’t know.”

“It’s a great opportunity,” said Yarick, who hopes to study business at Wilkes Universitynext year. “Learning about savings has been a great help in trying to save for college.”

Several past student tellers have stayed with the credit union after high school.

“We have one girl who started working with us in high school and she’s still there, working through her second year of college.”

DeAngelo said the goal of the student branch is to help students with financial life skills.

The Credit Union offers a program for seventh and eithth graders. The seventh-grade students learn the ins and outs of saving and depositing money. Games and simulations with fake money are used. The eighth-grade program allows students to focus on budgeting money.

The school branch is open during three lunch periods onThursdays when school is in session.

A credit union is similar to a bank, but it is owned by the members, not by stock shareholders, DeAngelo said. “Credit unions care more about their members than they do about the profits. We don’t have any stockholders to pay so we can keep our fees low.”

UFCW was the first to open a school branch credit union in the area.

Any student can open an account, with a parental consent form.

“When the student opens the account, we deposit their first $5 into their account,” DeAngelo said. “We have no-fee check cards for students.”

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