Affinity Plus eMentors reach students across Minnesota to share expertise and encouragement

ST PAUL, MN (May 23, 2017) — An eight-week professional mentorship between Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union and students statewide ends this week, but participants are confident the relationships will continue.

For the fourth straight year, Affinity Plus has partnered with BestPrep in the latter’s eMentors program to provide Minnesota students the opportunity to connect with business professionals.

As the name eMentors name suggests, the program builds mentoring partnerships between professionals and students via e-mail, said Jonathan Filzen, BestPrep education outreach specialist.

The program offers a “low-time but high-impact volunteer opportunity for busy professionals who want to make a difference,” Filzen said.

Employees from 14 Affinity Plus departments and 15 branches were eMentors volunteers this year for 62 students from five schools across the state. Schools included St. Louis Park High School, St. Paul Public Schools and Washburn High School in the Twin Cities area; and Indus and Chisholm high schools in northern Minnesota.

“Affinity Plus employees have unique and diverse professional backgrounds and experiences that contribute to the successful operation of our organization,” said Stephanie Musgrove, Affinity Plus business development specialist and the credit union’s eMentors coordinator. “We enjoy sharing with students a broad range of perspective about potential career paths and opportunities in the credit union industry.”

Over the eight-week program, students and mentors exchange email communications based on a set of guiding questions related to personal, career and professional issues, Musgrove said. Topics included ethics in business; workplace technology; conflict resolution; and money management.

The program also includes an on-site visit to Affinity Plus, where students meet their mentors in person and receive a tour of the credit union.

“The visit to Affinity Plus was amazing,” said Katie Flaherty, Washburn High School teacher. “Our kids were so impressed and so engaged with their mentors – they surprised me, actually. The students were even more enthused about emailing their mentors after the Meet and Greet.”

For Affinity Plus employees, participating in eMentors provides a meaningful workplace experience, Musgrove said, and many have participated several times in the program.

“All kids need positive adults in their life and this program is another great outlet for that,” said Jake Dixon, Affinity Plus consumer quality specialist and four-time eMentor. “I feel honored to speak into my mentee’s life – even if just for this short time – because you start to see the impact you are having on them as communications continue.”

Though the eMentors program lasts just eight weeks, students benefit from interacting with their mentor long after the program ends. Students said they’re able to better communicate and write professional emails, and also learned important interview skills and the value of relationships and forgiveness in the workplace.

Filzen said Affinity Plus has been a vital partner to provide “strong and lasting impact on the financial literacy skills, career experiences, and general life skills of Minnesota students.

“Affinity Plus employees are passionate, dedicated, and have proven to be dependable as classroom speakers, mentors, and community partners. It’s truly a privilege to find a like-minded organization that cares deeply and works tirelessly to serve those around them,” he said.

St. Louis Park High School students participate in a meet and greet with their Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union eMentors at the credit union’s Lafayette branch in St. Paul, Minn. Employees from 14 Affinity Plus departments and 15 branches were eMentors volunteers this year for 62 students from five schools across the state.

About Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union

Based in St. Paul, Minn., Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, financial cooperative that puts people first above profits. Members of Affinity Plus receive maximum value through competitive rates, minimal fees, and unique, member-centric products and programs. Established in 1930, Afinity Plus has 30 branches located throughout Minnesota and is owned by more than 230,000 members. Affinity Plus has over $3.5 billion in assets. Additional information is available at or by calling (800) 322-7228.


Hillary Kline
Senior Public Relations Specialist

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