Meriwest Credit Union Announces the Winners of the 2011/2012 Essay Competition

Greg Meyer
Meriwest Credit Union
Community Relations Manager
Direct Line: 408-365-6328                                            

CEO Christopher Owen meets with students

March 1, 2012 –  “If you ran a credit union, what would you do to encourage today’s teenagers to use a credit union instead of a bank?” This was the question on the minds of many teenagers this past fall as they prepared to participate in Meriwest Credit Union’s Annual Essay Competition. Annually, Meriwest Credit Union holds an essay competition that allows young members to address issues that challenge credit unions regularly. Coincidentally, it fell in line with the movement of “Bank Transfer Day” and the migration from banks to credit unions.

There were a number of well researched essays that suggested various ways for credit unions to reach out to high school aged youth. The most common thread among our teen writers was the need to have access 24/7 through electronic means such as online banking and mobile banking. It is apparent that this Generation is the most technologically savvy and credit unions need to remember that in order to win their business. Also common in most essays were calls for credit unions to take advantage of social media such as Facebook and Twitter to expand their influence with the current crop of high school grads.

“We have held this competition for many years and each year I continue to be impressed with the quality of the entries from our teenaged members. These students take a considerable amount of time to research and prepare just the right essay,” said Christopher Owen, Meriwest Credit Union’s President and CEO. “Judging from what I have read of these contest entries, the coming generation of credit union members has a deeper understanding of what a credit union means to a community and the role Meriwest plays in helping member families reach their full financial potential.”

Our winners by grade level:

12th Grade

  • Linda C., Leland High, San Jose
  • Jason L., So. San Francisco High, South San Francisco
  • Kelsey Lang, Thompson Valley High, Loveland CO

11th Grade

  • Leah T., Leland High, San Jose
  • Brandon Y., North High School, Torrance
  • Amelia E., Los Altos High, Los Altos

10th Grade

  • Ella G., King’s Academy High, San Jose
  • Summer A., Fremont High, Sunnyvale
  • Alyssa M., Westmont High, San Jose

9th Grade

  • Kailash S., Phillips Academy, Cupertino
  • Jessica L., University Prep Academy, San Jose

About Meriwest Credit Union
Meriwest Credit Union, one of Silicon Valley’s largest and established financial institutions, has been providing proactive, personal, convenient and innovative financial services to over 85,000 businesses and families throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Tucson, Arizona, for more than 50 years. More information can be found at

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