CORE Receives Financial Literacy Award


Pictured is Bill Sweeney, CEO of CORE Federal Credit Union holding the Desjardins Award for promoting student financial literacy.

(Albany, NY – June 2011) CORE Federal Credit Union recently received the prestigious Desjardins Award for its work in promoting student financial literacy from the Credit Union Association of New York. The credit union was honored at the Association’s Annual Convention in Lake Placid. CORE received the statewide award for credit unions in the $50 to $150 million dollar asset size range. This is the second year in a row that CORE has earned this honor.

Core’s winning program, “Students as Educators,” will advance to a national competition, where it will compete with youth education projects from credit unions across the country.

CORE opened the first student-run credit union in Central New York at ESM High School in 2005. The credit union operates an extensive financial literacy program that includes not only the student- run Spartan Branch program at ESM High School, but also a K–8 school banking program, annual teen finance forums for area high school students and adult education seminars.

Using the unique “Students as Educators” model, all of CORE’s programs provide high school students the opportunity to learn about personal finance, how to teach their peers, how to serve as mentors and role models for younger students in the school district, and how to team-teach adult education sessions with school board members and credit union personnel.

CORE presented the “Students as Educators” program nationally in 2009 and 2010 at the Education Credit Union Council’s Annual convention. CORE CEO Bill Sweeney is scheduled to deliver a presentation later this month about their unique youth financial education program at the National Association of Federal Credit Unions’ (NAFCU) Annual Convention in San Francisco.  CORE actively works with other credit unions and school districts throughout Central New York to assist them in enhancing their own student financial literacy programs.

The award is named in honor of Alphonse Desjardins, the founder of the North American credit union movement, who established the first “caisse populaire” (people’s bank) in Quebec in 1900 and helped establish the first American credit union in New Hampshire in 1909.  Desjardins was an ardent believer in the value of teaching children to save, and he promoted the idea of in-school savings programs (caisses scolaires).

CORE Federal Credit Union is headquartered in East Syracuse. It recently celebrated its 50th anniversary of serving its members and the Central New York community. They have offices in East Syracuse, North Syracuse and Morrisville.



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