Apple kicks off its High School March Madness™ campaign for financial literacy

FAIRFAX, VA (March 10, 2014) –The brackets are set. The bets are on. The teams are trash talking how they are going to win the March Madness™ competition.  You might be thinking basketball, but this all-star lineup is made up of high school kids competing in the Student Run Credit Union (SRCU) competition sponsored by Apple Federal Credit Union. Instead of scoring baskets, they are learning about financial literacy through a working credit union branch in their high schools. The media is invited to visit the Annandale High School branch on March 11, between 10:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., located at 4700 Medford Drive, Annandale, VA 22003, to see the students in action.

This competition is between 26 high schools in northern Virginia and the trophy and the $200 cash prize goes to the school that earns the most points by signing up new student members and opening accounts, which help the kids learn real world financial literacy skills.

With Virginia being the only state in the DC metro area requiring financial literacy education, the SRCUs have filled a real need.

“The SRCU is run by advanced accounting students. They have been trained on how to handle the transactions so they run the show,” says Monica Bently, SRCU liaison and business teacher at Annandale High School. The program teaches savings, how to manage money, and it’s an in-school tool for deposits, and withdraws.”

“One big value-add of the SRCU program is that it teaches the kids what they will need to know when they are out on their own,” explains Melanie West, SRCU liaison and business teacher at Fairfax High School. “In fact, we’ve seen in some of our families where the parents never dealt with banks because they are from another country. This program has educated the kids so that they can in turn help their parents to open their first account and learn to better manage their money.”

Senior Dominic Maier, SRCU marketing manager at Annandale High School, says his school is going to win this March Madness™ competition because they “are the ones to beat.”  His strategy is to secure discount cards to places students like to go like Chipotle and Firehouse Subs and offer them as rewards for participation. He and his team also intend to appeal to the faculty, who also use the SRCU, to make small deposits so the school can earn points for each transaction.

Junior Anthony Nguyen, SRCU team member at Fairfax High School, says he is sure that they will win the competition because they already won the “most new accounts” in January so they are going to use that momentum to forge ahead. His team’s plan is to use the school newspaper, hallway bulletin boards, and school website to get the word out about the competition. He also intends to team up with the video production class to create a video directed to teachers and kids in business classes to educate them on the value of participating in the SRCU. “I know we are going to win this competition because we by far have the best plan,” says Nguyen.

“Apple wants to make financial literacy not only valuable but fun for the kids,” says Apple Vice President Robert Sowell. “So the March Madness™ competition is a way to do that. It allows the kids to be creative and come up with their own marketing/advertising plans, and their interactions within the credit union teach them people skills, financial management skills, and provides the team that works there with business and accounting experience that can translate into real-world jobs.”

Apple Federal Credit Union’s Mission
Through a lifelong partnership with anyone touched by education, Apple FCU helps members achieve their dreams by offering competitive financial solutions, with dedicated personal service. Apple exists, not for profit, but for the benefit of its members.

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