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Ten Tips for a Top-notch Desjardins Award Program Entry
Monday, June 2, 2014 6:50 AM

You'll soon be preparing your entries for the Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award and/or the Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award program, and you're probably wondering how to submit an award-winning record of your credit union's or chapter's accomplishments. Your entry competes with others in your chapter or credit union asset group at both the state and national levels.

Here are 10 ways you can help judges get a clear picture of your program:

  1. Keep in mind that quality of entry information, not quantity, is the key. Choose your best effort and the best evidence rather than everything associated with your program. Above all, follow the format requirements on the appropriate Desjardins entry form.
  2. Clearly state what your goals are and how you set out to accomplish them.
  3. Set aside a specific file for all your program documents—you’ll need to organize your evidence when you put your entry together.
  4. Plan to track your program's effectiveness from the beginning. Document the project's activities and events, including face-to-face teaching, publicity, lobbying for curriculum requirements, teacher and volunteer training, and promotion and use of the NEFE® High School Financial Planning Program® (HSFPP involvement is not required).
  5. Keep in touch with the agencies or groups you're working with for any information they can provide to confirm the positive effect your involvement is having.
  6. Get your awards packet from the Cornerstone Credit Union League and review it carefully.
  7. Use the entry form questions as a guide for describing your project. The Awards Committee carefully considers the answers to questions on goals, implementation, and results to help them judge your entry.
  8. Include those items you've been saving that will bring your entry to life for the judges.
  9. Make sure your entry is concise, clear, and organized. Using tabbed index pages separating and identifying the three criteria, as well as any exhibits, makes it easier for the judges to find what they’re looking for quickly.
  10. Put yourself in the judge's shoes. What would you look for in an entry that demonstrates “leadership within the credit union movement on behalf of youth or adult financial literacy?”

The Cornerstone Credit Union League is accepting entries for Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award, and Desjardins Adult Financial Education Award through July 28, 2014. Please note that Cornerstone will select first, second and honorable mention winners from Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. However, only first place winners in each award category (one from each state) will advance to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) for judging in the national competition. 

Additional information on the national awards program can be found on Cornerstone’s web site, at www.cornerstoneleague.coop/awards.html. If you have any questions, please contact Linda Webb-Mañon, vice president of communications & PR, at (469) 385-6486 or (800) 442-5762, ext. 6486.  You may also e-mail lwebb-manon@cornerstoneleague.coop.