Youth and money: YouTube Videos Simplify Banking Concepts for Young Adults

GLENDALE, AZ (June 26, 2015) — It’s not often you run into a teen who can explain the difference between a credit union and a bank. But for a group of local teens, this difference has become their passion and Credit Union West has given them a platform to spread the word. The credit union’s Young Adult Advisory Panel recently developed YouTube videos to inspire their peers to make smarter financial decisions. Teens and wise financial advice don’t usually go hand-in-hand but this group’s goal is to break from the traditional thinking that money matters are only for grown-ups.

It all began in 2013 when the credit union launched their first youth panel made up of high school students. The initiative began as a way to engage with young adults and learn how to better communicate with them and meet their generation’s financial needs. “There’s a growing gap between traditional banking and the way millennials want to manage their money,” said Bob MacGregor, president/CEO of Credit Union West. “These young consumers’ do things differently and it’s important we build strong relationships so we can deliver the innovative financial solutions they crave.”

MacGregor said they want to educate youth about the credit union difference and help ensure they have a positive view of smaller community-focused financial institutions. He believes empowering youth with this knowledge early will give them a higher level of confidence when it comes to choosing their life-long financial partner.

Each year the youth panel engages in monthly meetings where they meet with various department managers to learn about the credit union’s products, services, and community commitment. This year they focused on developing YouTube videos to educate their peers on financial topics. They wrote scripts, developed story boards and recorded the videos with help from the staff. They can be viewed on the credit union’s YouTube channel at

“Youth want to learn from each other,” said Janet Humphrey, the credit union’s community relations specialist who oversees the panel. “YouTube videos are a great way for them to deliver their message and teach their peers about financial matters that are important to them.”

The three video topics are; mobile banking and managing funds, credit unions versus banks and tips for first-time car buying. Humphrey said the credit union will continue to seek ways to bridge the gap with the younger generation. She announced that they will also be launching a financial blog next month that is geared toward young adults. “The blog will deliver advice via stories and videos on finances, college life and career choices,” she said. In an effort to avoid boring and condescending financial information, the credit union partnered with brass Media to deliver content that is for young adults, written by young adults.

The Young Adult Advisory Panel runs through the school year ending with a social gathering to celebrate the successes the group achieved throughout the year. Three second-year members developed a Money Management after-school program based on the financial knowledge they gained and based their DECA project on it. The students made it to the international level at the 2015 DECA Conference in Orlando in May.

“We were very fortunate to have a group of exceptionally bright high school students serving on this year’s panel,” MacGregor said. “These students represent our future members and community leaders. Giving them a voice in how we connect with them is important to developing long-lasting trust.” The Young Adult Advisory Panel members also act as ambassadors for the credit union at community events throughout the year. The credit union will begin accepting applications for new youth panel members in August.

About Credit Union West

Credit Union West was founded in 1951 and is an award-winning financial cooperative. Well positioned for the future, Credit Union West has earned the highest 5-Star rating from Bauer Financial, Inc., the nation’s leading credit union and bank rating and research firm, who has been analyzing and rating financial institutions since 1983. Today it serves over 53,000 members with more than $550 million in assets. The credit union’s core principles have guided its decisions, which in turn has ensured integrity and trusted member service. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works or worships in Maricopa or Yavapai County and family members of current members. Federally insured by the NCUA.

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