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Empowering refugee youth through financial literacy workshop provided by Alive Credit Union

Updated: May 17, 2023

Hali McNaney with Alive Credit Union gives a presentation on financial essentials to a group of teenagers enrolled in the LSS Refugee Youth Mentoring Program at Kim's Open Door on May 15th in Jacksonville, Florida.

In an effort to empower young refugees with essential life skills, Alive Credit Union provided an engaging financial literacy presentation to teens in the LSS Refugee Youth Mentoring program on May 15.

The high school students learned the differences between a checking and savings account, and how to pick a bank that's right for their financial goals. Hali McNaney, the community development representative at Alive Credit Union, gave the presentation at Kim's Open Door, an organization that offers life skills programs to local youth.

Designed to address the unique challenges faced by refugee youth, the presentation aimed to provide them an introduction to personal finance.

Emalyne, a 12th grader from Burundi, says she learned a lot from the presentation. "I thought all banks were the same," she said, before learning about credit unions and banks.

Emalyne has been in the youth mentoring program for three years, and plans to study nursing at FSCJ. When asked about her mentor, her eyes beamed. "They're so nice and helpful." She said her mentor helped her with passing a mathematics exam.

For many refugee youth, who have been uprooted from their homes and exposed to economic uncertainty, this presentation helps introduce them to ways to start making informed decisions and plan for their education, career, and overall well-being.

McNaney is passionate about financial literacy and enjoys inspiring financial wellness in her community through Alive Credit Union.

"Knowing I can help make an impact and be a part of someone achieving their dreams of one day owning a car, becoming a homeowner, or achieving financial independence, drives me to work towards empowering individuals to take control of their financial well-being through providing in-depth education like our recent session at Lutheran Social Services," McNaney said.

Alive Credit Union has a team of licensed and accredited Financial Counselor who offer free, one-on-one coaching sessions for anything from budget to savings to building and repairing credit.

In addition to providing financial services to the community, Alive Credit Union is also active in serving the community in other ways. For LSS alone, credit union staff raised over 400 pounds of food for the pantry and has volunteered during pantry market hours.

In addition, Alive Credit Union is also a sponsor of the monthly Third Tuesday Resource Fair at LSS.

Financial literacy education is a powerful tool for empowering refugee youth, offering them hope, independence, and the opportunity to build a brighter future.

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