ArrowPointe FCU invests in youth through innovative REDHOT program
Friday, May 23, 2014
Posted by: Jeff Hardin
Like many communities in the Carolinas, Great Falls in Chester County has fallen on hard times in the wake of a shifting economy. Manufacturing plants, which at one time powered the local economy and provided stable employment for hundreds of residents, shut down one-by-one as companies shifted operations overseas or went out of business altogether.
In order to help residents of Great Falls gain a better working knowledge of money management, ArrowPointe FCU joined efforts with the local middle and high schools to create the REDHOT program. REDHOT identifies six character traits for young people to strive for: respectful, engaged, dedicated, honorable, organized and thoughtful.
These traits were identified by students, parents and administrators at the schools as the core facets of a REDHOT student. Each month, students earn REDHOT tickets for good behavior, and students are selected as REDHOT Students of the Month.
The credit union supports the program financially, including custom-designed tee shirts, certificates for all winners, and all marketing materials that help the school avoid out-of-pocket expenses. All told, ArrowPointe commits some $2,000 per school year to the program, now in its third year.
ArrowPointe staff take things one step further, providing ongoing financial education sessions in the classroom at least once a month. Felicia Pope, the credit union's VP of marketing and business development notes that these sessions get at the heart of ArrowPointe's mission. "We were created by the community, and we are here serving our community."
Pope notes even though students are not in the workforce full time yet, learning money management and other lessons offered through REDHOT has important implications for Great Falls. "We helping them become better people, and by learning about financial education we are providing them with the tools to rebuild their community."
While that payoff may be years away for the community, Pope adds that these lessons do make an impact today. "Parents tell us that their kids are sharing those financial lessons at home, so adults are definitely benefiting from this program."