Editor's Note: The following comments were shared by Joshua Kurtz of Millstream Area CU following his graduation from the Credit Union Development Education (DE) program in Madison, Wis. For info: www.ncuf.coop.
Prior to going through my Credit Union Development Education (DE) training, I wasn't sure exactly what my overall purpose in life was. One thing I knew, however, was that I did have the passion of the credit union philosophy of "People Helping People."
Throughout the week of training, we heard stories of what our credit union founders went through to begin this unparalleled movement and of credit unions, both large and small, doing immaculate things in their respective communities and throughout the world. I also had the privilege to meet several inspirational people who had the same passion of the credit union philosophy at work in their lives.
Every day as I listened to the different speakers and we acted out different scenarios, it became clearer to me exactly what my purpose and my responsibility in life was. I now can say with confidence that my purpose and responsibility is helping people less fortunate make their lives better-whether it's community service, donating money, or simply sitting down with a member to show them how to balance their checkbook. I now know that I am committed to serving people.
As the week drew to a close, I was reminded of a reality television show titled "The Real World." For those of you who are not familiar with the show, the premise of the show is to take seven strangers from all around the country and world and put them in a nice house for four months. MTV then follows them around every second of every day while they are in the house and films their lives. Of course, this is not the "real" world at all, but in the end some realness usually results as these people learn about themselves and each other.
This is exactly the feeling I had of my DE training. Even though we were together for only a few days-and instead of living in a nice house, we were living in dorm-style rooms-I felt and still feel that the friendships I made, not with only a selective few, but with the entire class, will be friendships that will last a lifetime.
One of my goals upon becoming a Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) was to speak to all my credit union colleagues in order to recruit them into the DE program. I feel this will allow them to gain a life-changing experience as well, and together we can help change lives one community at a time.
Joshua Kurtz is CFO and VP of finance at Millstream Area CU, Findlay, Ohio. He can be reached at macujosh<at>millstreamcu.com.