View From the Board: AFFCU Levers Scholarships & Financial Ed to Help Military Families & Dependents
Ryan Ross, DCUC Board Member and AFFCU President/CEO
Air Force FCU (AFFCU) was established in 1952 by 10 air- men on JBSA-Lackland. Over the 71 years, AFFCU has grown to serve the diverse needs of over 52,000 members worldwide with a full array of financial services, seven branch locations, and the strength of more than $650 million in assets. Although military affiliation is no longer required to join AFFCU, we still have a long history of supporting our military. As a member-owned and not-for-profit organization, AFFCU is passionate about assisting the communities it serves through volunteer work, scholarships, and sponsorships.
Most recently, AFFCU announced the names of the five recipients in its 2023 Scholarship Program who will receive scholarships totaling $25,000.
The five winning students were selected by the Credit Union’s Youth Committee of the Board of Directors based on their academic achievement, community involvement, and essay submission and recognized at the AFFCU virtual Annual Meeting, held on March 27, 2023. The following students will each be awarded $5,000 on behalf of AFFCU:
AFFCU understands the price tag of higher education continues to climb, and we are proud to make a difference in these hardworking students' lives as they pursue their academic goals. Each applicant's credentials were very impressive, making the selection very competitive.
AFFCU partners with the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation for its annual scholarship program. The program is available to current high school seniors who are active AFFCU members or whose parent(s)/guardian(s) is/are an active member(s). Four out of the five scholarship recipients attend school in the San Antonio area.
AFFCU partnered with each of their respective school district high schools to do check presentations for this momentous occasion. Each scholarship winner was given a surprise box filled with Credit Union merchandise and financial literacy swag from Zogo, the credit union’s financial literacy partner, which focuses on teaching financial literacy to a younger demographic. Zogo is a digitized way to teach financial literacy by earning pineapples for completing short financial modules. After earning numerous points, students can then earn enough points to redeem gift cards as an incentive for completing the modules. By partnering with Zogo, AFFCU is hoping that our scholarship winners will become Financial Literacy Brand Ambassadors for our younger community by posting what they have learned on social media. Zogo was implemented in April 2022 and currently has over 900 users.
AFFCU is proud to do its part in supporting our Nation’s military and the communities that surround them. However, just doing good isn’t enough these days. In order to show the world the power of credit unions, it’s imperative we continue sharing these stories both locally and nationally.
I also encourage everyone to share their good news with DCUC so that they have this information when advocating on our behalf. The more we share, the louder our national advocates, like DCUC, can be, and the more our communities will turn to credit unions as the better option for their banking needs. It’s a win-win for everyone.