PenFed Credit Union and Rise partner to provide experiential tool to help reduce COVID-19 related anxieties

SAN ANTONIO, VA (December 21, 2020)

 PenFed Credit Union, the nation’s second largest federal credit union, and Rise, a nonprofit providing services in the Hightstown/East Windsor area, today announced a new partnership to support the local community through an experiential tool designed to help reduce COVID-19 related anxieties.

PenFed’s $100,000 investment will help to create a vital and vibrant connection to learning, community and care. Based on an assessment of current needs, and amplified by the impact of the ongoing pandemic, Rise and PenFed are joining resources to create “U Rise Powered by PenFed”: an experiential tool by which the greater Rise community can reframe their COVID-19 related anxiety, loss of purpose and hopelessness into personal growth, strength and optimism.

“PenFed is proud to support the Hightstown and East Windsor communities,” said PenFed President/CEO and PenFed Foundation CEO James Schenck. “PenFed was founded on the credit union mission of people helping people. We understand this has been a challenging year for many. Rise shares in our mission and together we can provide meaningful support and help uplift and strengthen our communities.”

U Rise Powered by PenFed will take the shape of an online portal, currently under development by Human Experience Systems, and will act as a gateway to a multitude of curated local content.  From connecting with community, managing well-being and mindfulness, and acquiring new skills and knowledge, U Rise will serve to engage, lift and inspire the community.

Online content will be sourced by creating new content, re-purposing existing content, and by aggregating content via partnerships with local corporations, small businesses, organizations and experienced individuals. While many of the virtual programs will lead to in-person programming as appropriate, much of the online content will continue to be refreshed and remain relevant.

“U Rise will both inspire end-users and celebrate our community collaborators,” states Leslie Koppel, Executive Director of Rise. “Thanks to the generous investment by PenFed Credit Union, many in our common community will feel more hopeful and confident about their families and their futures as we emerge from the trying times of this pandemic, determined to move forward.”

Press Contact Information

PenFed Credit Union:

Kassandra Sebastian, AVP Corporate Communications; 571-328-1854


Leslie Koppel, Executive Director
609 443 4464

Human Experience Systems:

Ben Bakelaar , Founder

About PenFed Credit Union

Established in 1935, Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) is America's second-largest federal credit union, serving 2.9 million members worldwide with over $34.6 billion in assets. PenFed Credit Union offers market-leading certificates, checking, credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, auto loans, and a wide range of other financial services with members' interests always in mind. PenFed Credit Union is federally insured by the NCUA and is an Equal Housing Lender. To learn more about PenFed Credit Union, visit, like us on Facebook and follow us @PenFed on X. Interested in working for PenFed? Check us out on LinkedIn. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

About Rise

Rise, founded in 1967, strives to be the hub of social support services in the Hightstown/East Windsor area, building a productive, cohesive environment where families thrive and feel valued, safe, and optimistic about their future. In addition to U Rise Powered by PenFed, Rise also operates the Rise Pantry, the social-enterprise Rise Thrift Store, the Rise Academic Enrichment Summer Camp, and many other programs.  To learn more about Rise, visit, like us on Facebook and follow us @nj_rise on Twitter.

About Human Experience Systems

Human Experience Systems is an NJ-based design company that utilizes a creative human-centered approach heavily influenced by principles and guidelines from the world of design. We are design-first, not tech-first! We work with clients in academia and academic institutions, cultural heritage, and non-profits, and believe that in this era of complex technologies, simplicity and sustainability of technology solutions are the key.


Abagail Chambers
Account Coordinator
+1 724 366 0397

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