2011 National Youth Saving Challenge Proves It Pays To Save

Mark Wolff – CUNA Communications; (202) 508-6764;
Amy Nigrelli – CUNA Marketing; (608) 231-4246;

MADISON, Wis. — The recently concluded National Youth Saving Challenge™ sponsored by Credit Union National Association (CUNA) saw measurable success this year. Young credit union members across the country deposited a total of $28,545,723 into their savings accounts during the month of April. This year the Saving Challenge also reached a new milestone, bringing the total amount deposited since its start in 2004 to more than $100 million dollars, reaching $117,628,671.71.  See chart for National Youth Saving Challenge Results History.

Held in conjunction with National Credit Union Youth Week™, the Saving Challenge puts the spotlight on youth in a contest tracking deposits throughout the month of April. Participating credit unions use the Challenge to motivate children, teenagers and their parents to start and maintain good money management practices by opening accounts and making deposits. Last year, nearly 170,000 young members deposited $24.8 million into their savings accounts during the month, with more than 10,000 youth opening new accounts.

The Saving Challenge aims to jump start smart savings habits at an early age, using the unique service commitment that defines the credit union movement. Denise Iroler at ORNL FCU in Tennessee feels strongly about providing financial education to all ages. “We recognize that kids need accounts, too, and the younger we educate youth about the important principle of saving, the better,” Iroler said.

This year, 305 credit unions reported receiving deposits from 146,002 young members, including 9,058 who opened new accounts. The average deposit per child was $196, compared to $146 per child last year.

National Credit Union Youth Week™ also found success this year with a fun and universally appealing theme “Money Rocks At My Credit Union.” Lobby and off-site events, contests, tours, music-themed giveaways and prizes, raffle drawings and in-school presentations were just some of the activities sponsored by credit unions to encourage and celebrate good savings habits among their young members.

Oregon Community Credit Union staff and members look forward to Youth Week every year. “National Credit Union Youth Week gives credit unions the opportunity to reach out to the youth in our communities, teaching them about financial literacy in a fun and exciting way. It allows us to build a strong foundation for the financial future of our communities,” said Kendra Handke, Marketing Coordinator at OCCU.

Annette Samaniego, from Dynamic FCU in Ohio, adds, “Youth Week is a great way to get our youth fired up about savings and to remind them that we are here for their financial needs. Our staff looks forward to helping them set goals and assist them in their future.”

Activities by state will be posted on CUNA’s Youth Week webpage this summer:

CUNA also celebrates youth credit union membership by awarding $100 prizes to 10 young savers chosen at random from those credit unions who reported their Saving Challenge results. CUNA has selected this year’s 10 winners and they are as follows:

  • Emma, age 6, of Gig Harbor, Washington, from American CU
  • Kylee, age 9, of Roseburg, Oregon, from Cascade Community CU
  • Ethan, age 6, of Hewitt, Texas, from Educators CU
  • Alexander, age 18 months, of Caledonia, Michigan, from Grand Valley Co-Op CU
  • Olivia, age 8, of Jacksonville, Florida, from Jax FCU
  • Cullen, age 8, of Lutcher, Louisiana, from Louisiana FCU
  • Emily, age 9, of Silverton, Oregon, from Maps CU
  • Malloree, age 13, of West Enfield, Maine, from Penobscot County FCU
  • Dylan, age 3, of Spokane, Washington, from PrimeSource CU
  • Larkyn, age 4, of York, Pennsylvania, from York Educational FCU

For questions about the National Youth Saving Challenge or National Credit Union Youth Week, please contact Joanne Sepich at (800) 356-9655, ext. 4867.


About CUNA:  With its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) serves 90 percent of America’s 7,700 state and federally chartered credit unions, which are owned by nearly 92 million consumer members. Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives providing affordable financial services to people from all walks of life.  For more information, visit For more information about credit unions, visit


National Youth Saving Challenge Results History
Year Number of Credit Unions Participating Amount Deposited in Youth Accounts Number of Youth Making Deposits Number of New Youth Accounts Opened Average Deposit per Child
2004 143 $1,391,720.00 15,958 1,857 $87
2005 274 $4,555,031.10 35,071 4,451 $130
2006 346 $9,626,748.00 66,269 7,624 $145
2007 393 $10,133,355.38 71,844 9,067 $141
2008 400 $12,035,272.42 76,524 6,748 $157
2009* 397 $26,529,081.00 139,669 10,006 $190
2010* 384 $24,811,741.00 168,438 10,385 $147
2011* 305 $28,545,722.81 146,002 9,058 $196
Total $117,628,671.71 59,196





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