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NCUA Grant Allows Small CU in Arkansas to Hire Much Needed Student Intern
Friday, March 14, 2014 6:55 AM

Twelve low-income designated credit unions from the Cornerstone Credit Union League region have received grants from the National Credit Union Administration, including Garland County Educators CU in Hot Springs, Ark. The $3.3 million assets credit union received a $3,940 grant, which will allow the credit union to bring on a student intern for the summer.

“I’m not a professional grant writer by any means, but the NCUA clearly felt my heart when they read my grant request,” Garland County Educators CU Manager Tandie Lee Kenser tells the Leaguer.

Kenser has only been in the credit union movement for one year. In the short time that she’s been with the credit union, they’ve expanded their products and services line-up from just savings and loans to shared drafts, direct deposit, online banking and mobile banking.

Kenser is registered to attend Southwest CUNA Management School this summer. With her being out of the office July 13-23, she needed to provide her staff with additional support. With no budget to hire another staff person, the grant will allow her to hire a student intern. Kenser says she will work with several local schools to find the right candidate.

“Who knows, maybe the young person we end up hiring for the internship will discover that a credit union career is the right path for them,” she added.

In May, the credit union is collaborating with Diamond Lakes FCU to host a CU 4 Reality Fair at a local high school. Some 143 students are expected to participate. Kenser says their new student intern will help with this project.

A total of 127 low-income credit unions will receive $517,890 through the first Community Development Revolving Loan Fund grant round in 2014. NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives administers the funds. Congress established the Revolving Loan Fund to provide grants and loans to credit unions serving low-income communities. Since 2001, NCUA has received more than $12.8 million in grant funding.

NCUA awarded grants for three initiatives: new product or service, student internships and CDFI certification initiative. Other Cornerstone credit unions to receive a grant from the NCUA include:

Credit Union

City

State

Awarded

Initiative Funded

Port Arthur Community

Port Arthur

TX

$5,000

Bill Pay

Coastal Community

Galveston

TX

$2,500

CDFI Certification

Naft

Pharr

TX

$6,000

Electronic/Digital Signatures

1st University

Waco

TX

$4,000

Student Internship

Caprock

Lamesa

TX

$2,500

CDFI Certification

Cochran County Schools

Morton

TX

$4,000

Student Internship

Refugio County

Refugio

TX

$5,000

Bill Pay

Kingsville Community

Kingsville

TX

$4,000

Student Internship

Pilgrim CUCC

Houston

TX

$4,000

Student Internship

Our Mother Of Mercy Parish Houston

Houston

TX

$4,000

Student Internship

Brentwood Baptist Church

Houston

TX

$4,000

Student Internship

A complete list of grantees is available online here.

The NCUA notes that Urgent Need grants for emergency assistance are available year-round, subject to fund availability. More information is available online here.