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Youth Advisory Council Helping One CU Attract a Younger Audience
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 7:00 AM

Recognizing the importance of reaching a younger demographic, Texas Trust CU created several years ago a Youth Advisory Council. Today, that initiative is still going strong. Jim Minge, CEO of the $846.5 million in assets credit union, says the council has helped the Mansfield-based credit union gain a better understanding of the needs and expectations of the younger demographic, as well as their relationship with money.

“The insight we have gained from the council has been used in product development for our Game Changer checking,” says Minge. “It has also helped with our financial educational initiatives and our approach to the youth market. But the most promising aspect of the council is the chance to educate them about credit unions.”

Texas Trust CU launched the Youth Advisory Council in 2011. The program provides leadership training and teaches students basic financial skills that can help them successfully manage their money throughout their adult life. The council also participates in a service project and volunteers at community events sponsored by Texas Trust CU.

The credit union is currently accepting application for the council and up to 20 students will be selected. The fall 2014 Youth Advisory Council will serve from August through December 2014.

“Each term we receive a greater number of applications, which means more young people are coming through our doors,” adds Minge.

For credit unions interested in starting a Youth Advisory Council, Minge offers the following tips:

  • Manage your expectations. It takes time for the program to multiply.
  • Don't make the council exclusive. Go beyond your membership to find youth wanting to serve.
  • Involve a number of youth, at least 10-20 to gain different perspectives.
  • Require youth to complete an application to join. Choose those who demonstrate leadership and commitment.
  • Offer a stipend and/or incentive to recognize the Council members for their time and effort.
  • Offer council members some form of training, such as leadership development, that they can use and apply to all facets of their life.
  • Communicate frequently with the council and be sure to set clear goals, responsibilities, and expectations of the members.
  • Give the council coordinator the tools and resources to make the program a success.