Westminster Savings Credit Union

Westminster Savings Credit Union

September 07, 2006 10:00 ET

Westminster Savings Credit Union Launches Fall Youth in Action™, Rewards Youth for Successful Money Management

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 7, 2006) - As students return to the classroom this week, Westminster Savings Credit Union (WSCU) is launching its fall Youth in Action™ program for youth members and students in B.C.'s Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. The initiative will assist youth in becoming more financially and socially responsible by providing money management tools, opportunities for community giving, prize incentives, an annual scholarship and school-based lessons. The program comes at a time when Canadian households have been spending more and saving less, according to Statistics Canada.

WSCU will introduce a complementary program of PowerPlay Challenges to participating schools in the local community, including New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Cloverdale, Surrey, Langley and White Rock. Teachers in those communities can register to receive resource packages with lesson plans, activity sheets and tips for implementing financial planning and social responsibility strategies.

"Youth in Action offers a unique opportunity for local schools in our community," said Barry Forbes, President and CEO, Westminster Savings Credit Union. "The program gives young people a chance to develop good savings habits and be inspired to take action in planning their future finances. We have designed the program to be fun and meaningful for youth and easy to implement for our local teachers."

Jordan Wallis, age 14, is on his way to creating a solid financial future. The Coquitlam resident feels the key to financial success is to use a basic money management system that allows him to place 20% in savings, give 20% to charity and use the rest as spending money. An essay he recently submitted was chosen by WSCU as the winning entry for his age group.

"Jordan's essay was chosen because it was well-organized and clearly outlines his money management system," says Diane Alfredson, Manager of Westminster Savings' Austin Branch in Coquitlam. "I was particularly impressed that Jordan is committed to supporting cancer research with his giving money." As the winner of the first challenge, Alfredson presented Jordan with a $300 cash reward.

Recent research reveals that parents need to get serious about their kids' savings. Statistics Canada reports that the national savings rate has been moving towards historic lows for several years, prompting concerns about a "buy now, pay later culture". According to a report put out by the Vanier Institute of the Family, total debt per household is now equal to 125% of disposable income compared to 91% some fifteen years ago.

"Youth in Action provides parents with a real incentive to have their children learn more about financial planning," says Alfredson. "Now more than ever, it's important to teach children and parents about financial literacy, and financial institutions need to step up to the mark and provide the tools necessary to make that happen."

About Youth in Action

WSCU is committed to teaching youth to manage their money through the following activities:

- PowerPlay Challenge - Twice each year, youth members are challenged to participate in fun projects related to money management and social responsibility. They can receive exciting prizes such as cash, RESP's and gift certificates.

- Youth in Action Money Planner - A simple, easy-to-implement money management system for young people to meet individual and family goals. The planner demonstrates the PowerPlay Money Model for Spending, Giving and Growing.

- School Resource Packages - A complementary bi-annual school-based program providing teachers with basic lesson plans, activity sheets and tips for implementing each of the school-based challenges.

- Youth in Action Awards - These awards recognize the achievements of outstanding young people who have contributed to their community through volunteer efforts. Scholarships of $2,000 are awarded based on the students' involvement in extra-curricular volunteer activities, including a demonstrated commitment in their senior year, and a high level of academic achievement.

Related lesson plans help students learn financial and social responsibility, and are available for free in most Lower Mainland districts. For more information, please email youthinaction@wscu.com.

About Westminster Savings Credit Union

As one of Canada's largest credit unions, Westminster Savings is dedicated to providing full financial services to the residents of the Lower Mainland. Westminster Savings has $1.4 billion in assets, 51,000 members and 10 retail branches in New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Cloverdale, Surrey, Langley and White Rock. The credit union also operates two subsidiaries, WS Leasing Ltd., and Westminster Savings Financial Planning Ltd. The Westminster Savings Foundation is the second largest credit union Foundation in the country. We are proud that, since it began in 1992, the Foundation has grown to over $5 million.

™Youth in Action is a trademark owned by Westminster Savings Credit Union, used under license.

Contact Information

  • Westminster Savings Credit Union - Media Contact
    Steve Mosey
    Communications Officer, Marketing
    (604) 528-3836
    Fax: (604) 528-3847
    Website: www.wscu.com