Seven Juntos Avanzamos-designated credit unions have received The 2017 Warren Morrow Hispanic Growth Fund grants to help them continue their Hispanic outreach efforts.
Named in honor of the late Warren Morrow, who dedicated his life to helping the underserved and empowering the Hispanic community, each grant provides up to $1,500 for initiatives focused on Hispanic membership growth.
This year’s recipients comprise: Ascentra Credit Union ($414 million in assets; based in Bettendorf, Iowa); DC Federal Credit Union ($57 million; Washington); JetStream Federal Credit Union ($197 million; Miami Lakes, Fla.); Members Credit Union ($29 million; Cos Cob, Conn.); Nueva Esperanza Community Credit Union ($1.9 million; Toledo, Ohio); Point West Credit Union ($106 million; Portland, Ore.); and Santa Cruz Community Credit Union ($112 million; Santa Cruz, Calif.)
For the 2017 grant, credit unions with $500 million or less in assets and the national Juntos Avanzamos designation could request funds in one of four categories: Hispanic Growth Products and Services; Hispanic Professional Development and Education; Hispanic Scholarship Program; or Hispanic Community Outreach.
Ascentra will use the grant funds to continue growing and evolving its Hispanic outreach program and building community partnerships, including translating materials needed for upcoming presentations that will benefit the Esperanza Legal Assistance Center, a low-cost immigration services provider.
DC FCU will use its grant allow a young, Hispanic member service representative at DC FCU to participate in the Cooperative Leaders Scholars Institute at this fall’s National Cooperative Business Association’s Impact Conference.
JetStream FCU will use its grant to partner with a local high school to select a deserving scholarship recipient who is a member of a Hispanic low-income family and meets the following criteria: a 3.7 minimum GPA, a college in mind and an area of interest in business.
Members CU will use its grant to purchase two Spanish seminar-in-a-box kits from CUNA and materials for financial education sessions with Hispanic youth. The credit union will then partner with local organizations to conduct the seminars.
Nueva Esperanza CCU will use the grant funds to serve more of the Hispanic population within its community, including expanding outreach efforts to local schools and local organizations to help promote financial education.
Point West CU has partnered with a local organization serving Hispanic families with a range of programs. The grant funds will allow a Point West employee to hold regular hours at a partner community organization’s headquarters to assist Hispanic members with account opening, lending needs and basic financial services and fiscal management.
With the grant funds, Santa Cruz CCU will develop a new website and mobile access, offer more financial education sessions and Spanish-language seminars, as well as help local Hispanic nonprofits with their financial inclusion efforts.
“We received an overwhelming number of applications this year, which made the selection process very difficult,” said Miriam De Dios Woodward, CEO of Coopera, the Hispanic market strategy firm that created the grant along with the Credit Union National Association and the National Credit Union Foundation. “However, reading through the applications, especially as we begin National Hispanic Heritage Month, gave me a renewed appreciation for the work that’s being done across the country to better the financial lives of all consumers.”