Heritage School Credit Union Teaches Lessons in Business, Financial Literacy

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 04/26/2019 - 18:19
Heritage students and credit union staff members Elijah Zaksek, Nathan Dubnicki, Ayla Stager, Isabella Apone, Kelsey Tikkanen, and Mahalia Stato address the Board of Education.

Since opening this past January the student-run CP Federal Credit Union branch operated within the walls of Heritage School has acquired an impressive staff of Saline's finest students.

CP Federal is a Jackson-based credit union serving more than 50,000 customers through eight branches in locations that include Jackson, Grass Lake, and Brooklyn to name a few. 

While CP Federal will soon have an adult-run branch in the Saline Shopping Center, at 559 E. Michigan Avenue, starting on May 16, for the time being Heritage students are leading the way by helping SAS faculty and fellow students open and manage basic financial vehicles like savings and checking accounts.

CP Federal spokesperson Kelly Hatler spoke before the Board of Education at Tuesday night's meeting and credited the Saline Area Schools Compass for both guiding Saline children to educational excellence and providing them with the core attributes necessary to achieve financial literacy.

In addition to the student-operated credit union, CP Federal has run a financial literacy education program since 1991.

Hatler encouraged the district's students and staff to become members of the CU at Heritage now that its doors are opened.

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Six of the student-staffers of the CU at Heritage introduced themselves and answered several questions; including why they applied for a job with the CU, what their job entails, and what skills they're using in their acquired job.

Mahalia Staton said she likes helping fellow students open savings accounts and become "saving savvy." She ultimately hopes to open up to other people and make friends by helping them learn about saving.

Ayla Stager joined because she likes math and enjoys working with people, and she saw it as a great way to "prepare for the future."

She handles marketing duties for the Heritage CU: "Credit union is such a great experience."

Isabella Apone, the daughter of a professional accountant, wanted to "change peoples' perspective about saving money."

"I've known about money-saving for a very long time ... I love speaking with other people," she said.

Elijah Zaksek said he's learned public speaking skills and built confidence when dealing directly with others.

Kelsey Tikkanen "wanted to know what a real job feels like," and so she applied for a membership representative position.

Fellow membership rep Nathan Dubnicki also wanted to get a very early start on learning basic job skills and obviously takes great pride in his work.

"I enter the money - people wouldn't see the money in their account without me," he said.

CP Federal operates one of the biggest financial education programs and the largest student run CU network in the country. 


Sean Dalton's picture
Sean Dalton
Sean Dalton is a veteran of the Washtenaw County journalism scene. He co-founded WeLoveDexter.com and WeLoveAnnArbor.com and also worked for Heritage Newspapers.