Northwest Credit Union Educators Among Nation’s Most Effective, Says NYIB

The National Youth Involvement Board, or NYIB, recently concluded its 43rd annual conference, held this year in San Antonio. At the awards ceremony on July 30, top financial education presenters across the country were honored for their outstanding efforts.

Northwest Credit Unions Honored

TwinStar’s Jared Dance visits schools all over Washington, offering age appropriate financial education to students in many grade levels.

Out of all 50 states, Oregon credit unions gave the fourth highest number of financial education presentations, with 727 conducted between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015. In the same span of time, Washington credit union presenters reached 9,277 individual students, earning Top Ten honors.

Oregon State Credit Union conducted 714 financial education presentations, making its team the second highest presenting team in the nation.

“Teaching kids financial education fills me with hope,” said Anissa Arthenayake, Director of Community Education. “The hope is that these kids will not make the same mistakes that many of us did, and then they can follow their dreams with fewer challenges.”

Arthenayake and Oregon State Credit Union focus not only on youth financial education but also on adults and have been spotlighted nationally many times for their outreach programs.

Jared Dance from Lacey, Washington-based TwinStar Credit Union received dual honors, both for the 6th highest number of financial education presentations given by an individual (228), and for the 3rd highest number of individual students reached (6,111).

Dance is the Community Development Manager at TwinStar and in that role, visits schools all over Washington providing financial education outreach to students of all ages. He recommends teaching children about money as early as possible.

“It’s best to teach them the ideas of saving money first, then cycle in the idea of spending only a part of what they earn or receive,” Dance says. “For these little ones, adding a coin to their piggybank is exciting and the day when they actually compile enough change to buy something is a milestone.”

“These numbers show the incredible impact that Northwest credit unions have on our local communities,” says Shannon Cahoon, Fibre Federal employee and Northwest Regional Coordinator for the NYIB. “While these numbers are impressive, I know there are so many more credit unions involved in financial education who are not reporting through the NYIB. If we could increase our reporting, I know we would be among the highest states each year in terms of students reached and presentations given. I’d love to be able to tell more of our story this way.”

The NYIB encourages more credit unions to report financial education efforts, including presentations given, number of students reached by these presentations, number of reality fairs hosted by credit unions and number of student-run or in-school branches operated. These numbers help demonstrate to legislators the impact credit unions are having on a local, regional and nationwide basis.

As it becomes increasingly important for credit unions to demonstrate the impact and the credit union difference, Cahoon noted, this evidence is extremely impactful for showing how credit unions serve communities.

About the NYIB

In 1972, the National Youth Involvement Board was created to obtain grassroots input from individuals working in credit unions/leagues and to create a national system for the dissemination of information and resources regarding youth participation in the Credit Union Movement. This was due to the average age of credit union members rising in the 1960s. Credit union leaders recognized the need to reach out to young people to ensure a bright future for the movement. Today, the NYIB continues to contribute to the future of credit unions by serving as a resource of youth marketing materials and ideas for the Credit Union Movement; encouraging excitement and commitment to youth financial literacy; creating leadership opportunities for the Credit Union Movement; developing strategic alliances that benefit the Credit Union Movement in keeping with the NYIB mission; and providing an educational conference that is in keeping with the NYIB mission.

Editor’s Note: For more information on the NYIB, the conference or ways to report your credit union’s financial education efforts, please visit or contact Shannon Cahoon at

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790,

Posted in Awards.