Leah Elliott is a rising junior in UNC’s undergraduate departments of Political Science and Public Policy and a CCP intern working in Caswell and Lenoir Counties.
Every month, a group of approximately fifteen individuals enters the Greater Kinston Credit Union (GKCU) and heads to the second floor. On this day, the conference room will not be a workspace or meeting place for employees, it will be a classroom for students in the Family Literacy course. A holistic approach to financial literacy, this GKCU class focuses on providing adults with the personal and technical skills they need to make decisions about everything from setting family priorities to balancing budgets. It is obvious from speaking with the program director that this credit union is just as interested in raising the self-esteem of local residents as it is in making participants credit-worthy for the future.
The Community-Campus Partnership first connected with the Greater Kinston Credit Union during weekly meetings for the Promise Neighborhoods grant initiative. Now, CCP marketing interns will be working with the GKCU to increase community awareness of services like Family Literacy and its other programs: Secure for Life, M&Ms for Youth and Budgeting Brats. Because of Lenoir’s status as a Tier 1 county, the visibility of organizations and similar businesses geared toward financial stability is critical for the community.
In addition to working with residents who may be struggling to manage a family and finances, the GKCU reaches out to older and younger populations with their Secure for Life and children’s programs. Secure for Life is a guardianship service that provides the elderly, disabled, and veteran residents with the opportunity to divide financial responsibility with the credit union. The GKCU hopes that sharing the burden of money management makes it a little easier for those who are already struggling with their health and/or living situation. The expansion of youth programming has also been an exciting addition to the GKCU’s repertoire. M&Ms for Youth (Money & Management), an annual in-school class that uses the FDIC’s Money Smart curriculum, and Budgeting Brats, a budgeting series offered out of school for a smaller group of children, are two of the currently operating youth courses.
Through the end of the summer, CCP interns will be organizing and updating program information to be placed in new distributable materials (posters, brochures, etc.) and coming up with marketing ideas for how the GKCU can reach a wider audience of the under-served populations in the area. We are excited about what the Greater Kinston Credit Union is doing for members of Lenoir and the surrounding counties of Greene, Jones, Craven and Pitt and hope that more residents will take advantage of the educational and assistance services they have to offer.