Empower Educate People Grants

From grants to growth: The Foundation impact

Posted: Mar 6, 2024 | Author:
Professional Development Grant 

Read time: 1 min, 41 secs

At the heart of the credit union movement is the “people helping people” philosophy. Secured Advantage Federal Credit Union exemplifies this through a transformative initiative made possible by the Cornerstone Foundation. With a Professional Development Grant aimed at bolstering professional development and financial wellness, Secured Advantage FCU is setting a precedent for how credit unions can profoundly impact the lives of their members and communities. 

The benefits of professional development 

Under the leadership of CEO Michal Parker, Secured Advantage FCU has embarked on an ambitious project to help its frontline staff become certified credit union financial counselors.  

"Our staff is using the grant money so that all frontline staff can become certified credit union financial counselors," Parker explains.  

This initiative enhances the skill set of the credit union's employees and deepens their capacity to serve underserved communities effectively. 
The significance of this initiative has several benefits. Beyond personal growth for staff, Parker said it also brings tangible benefits to members.  

"One of our frontline staff who completed the financial counseling certification was able to assist a member with debt consolidation recently, and the member's credit score increased dramatically in recent months."  

This example showcases the direct impact financial counseling can have on individuals' financial health and well-being. 

A culture of empowerment and inclusivity 

Secured Advantage FCU's approach goes beyond transactional relationships. It's about embedding a culture of empowerment and readiness.  

“We intend that all member-facing staff can assist in the financial counseling process going forward," said Parker.  

This vision ensures that any member walking through their doors will find the help they need immediately, embodying the credit union philosophy of "people helping people." 
The initiative also broadens the staff's perceptions of financial distress, giving them another perspective on the diverse faces of financial hardship.  

"My staff is learning that people with troubled credit don't always look like what you assume," Parker notes.  

This realization helps foster a proactive approach to financial counseling, enriching both the lives of the members and staff. 

Empowering credit unions to impact their communities 

The Cornerstone Foundation's support for Secured Advantage FCU represents its mission of “empowering credit unions to impact their communities.” Grants and scholarships can catalyze meaningful change within credit unions and the communities they serve. The impact of the Cornerstone Foundation's grant extends far beyond the immediate benefits. We’re proud to help lay the groundwork for a future where financial wellness and empowerment are accessible to all, truly encapsulating the spirit of the credit union movement.  

To apply for a grant or scholarship, visit us online today.  




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