Business Operations

2017 Community Impact Awards, Youth Development (Large Companies): BECU

BECU provides financial education in the classroom throughout the year.

By Teresa Kenney October 25, 2017


This article originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of Seattle magazine.

CLASS ACT: BECU financial educators Ruth Kaneko, left, and Stacey Black meet students in the Realistic Transition Program of Highline Public Schools.

Location: Seattle | Employees: 1,748
Top Exec: Benson Porter, president & CEO

“BECUs overall commitment is to financial literacy and financial health of all of our members, says Ashley Rossman, the credit unions senior manager of community engagement. That commitment is particularly important for youth, adds Rossman, because we have seen that once we are able to give students a solid financial foundation, they are then able to be financially independent adults.

BECU has two full-time financial educators who are in classrooms throughout the year, discussing topics such as budgeting and investing. Other employees often volunteer in classrooms as well.

And each year, the credit union shuts down its operations for Closing for Good Day, a day of service when the organization sends all its employees, from the CEO to the newest hire, to financial reality fairs where every high school student in attendance is provided with a persona, a job and an income, and tasked with shopping for daily needs. The idea for BECUs financial literacy programs sprang from a need among its members, who requested assistance navigating hardships.

BECUs philosophy, and the reason that we were founded, was people helping people, says Rossman. … Really, all the best things about BECU come from our members, realizing a need and then coming together to say, How can we solve that?

See the full list of 2017 Community Impact Awards winners here.

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