ROCKLEDGE, Fla. –– Tackling today’s serious youth financial literacy crisis, Community Credit Union Florida (CCU Florida), a member-owned, not for profit, financial cooperative on Florida’s east coast, debuted its “321 Financial Liftoff!” educational series at Rockledge High School with 400 high school juniors. This program provides the tools necessary to pave a path towards a successful financial future as younger customers begin their independent financial journey. The event features an interactive panel discussion with CCU Florida financial experts, as well as young athletes and influencers connected to the Space Coast community.
Sharing personal anecdotes about their success in Brevard County, NFL Player JT Hassell most recently of the NY Jets, Alyssa Carson, an accomplished pilot and astrobiology student with aspirations to be the first woman on Mars, and Emily Zeck, an established influencer and swimwear entrepreneur, will share financial best practices and how their partnership with CCU Florida supported their business, philanthropic and personal endeavors.
“Becoming financially literate at a young age is critical and we want to ensure that the next generation of the Space Coast is able to achieve those major milestones such as getting their first debit card, buying a car or their first home,” said Laurie Cappelli, president of CCU Florida. “Recent studies have shown that there is a gap in financial education and we are committed to changing that by providing students with tips, resources, and easy-to-understand ways to kickstart their financial journey.”
According to a recent Forbes study, 79% of teenagers don’t have savings accounts and 87% say they don’t know how to manage their money. CCU Florida’s “321 Financial Liftoff” is designed to be an accessible, convenient support system from high school onward and seeks to instill the importance of financial literacy at an early age. Last week, Fla. HB 115 was unanimously approved by the Florida House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee, requiring high school students to earn a half-credit in personal financial literacy and money management in order to graduate.
“We are very grateful to CCU Florida for launching this incredibly important series in partnership with Rockledge High School,” said Noelle Nickerson, testing and business partner coordinator. “We feel strongly about educating students on financial literacy and admire CCU Florida for taking on this initiative. It is just another example of their enduring commitment to this community and its younger generation.”
The event was the first of four in the series blending music, videos, and lessons for financial literacy with the second event at Titusville High School on April 1 in conjunction with Junior Achievement, the third at Florida Institute of Technology on August 28, and the fourth at Eastern Florida State College in October. Participants receive a unique Space Coast-inspired CCU Florida kit.
Founded in 1953 in Titusville, Florida, Community Credit Union Florida is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative formed under a state charter by a group of ten teachers. The cooperative’s initial premise encouraged saving, offering a stronger return on members’ savings than what could be found elsewhere and enabling the Credit Union to use those resources to offer loans to other members at competitively low-interest rates. 69 years later, that basic operating concept still stands and has earned CCU Florida recognition as one of the ten best credit unions in the state. With 7 locations, membership is available to anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school, or conducts business in Brevard, Indian River, Orange, Osceola, Polk, or Volusia counties.