Giving credit where it’s due

LIHUE — Anne Kane, principal for Kauai High School, said there is no substitute for real-world experience.

“We have summer internships for students in the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism, and in Agriculture,” Kane said. “Today, we celebrate another Red Raider opportunity to educate, engage and empower with the opening of the Raider Credit Union. This is another tool that offer students real world work experience.”

The RCU, powered by the Kauai Community Federal Credit Union opened its doors at 11 a.m. Wednesday and overstayed its normal noon closing time as students, and community guests enjoyed watching the activity of its first day.

“We at the Department of Education are grateful for the partnership of Kauai Community Federal Credit Union for this second student-managed high school credit union,” said Lisa Mireles of the DOE administrative office.

RCU will host regular hours in Room A-104 under the guidance of Kauai High School teacher Gregory Anderson, KCFCU supervisor Mel Agayan, and student branch manager, Ronsen Fujii.

“Raider Credit Union is a real-world, hands-on experience that will benefit our students for their entire lives,” Anderson said.

During its hours of operation, RCU will accept check and cash deposits, allow students to withdraw up to $20, and provide other financial literacy education to help students better manage their savings and checking accounts.

The student-operated credit union will service Kauai Community FCU members at Kauai High School in a collaborative effort to ramp up financial literacy across the island, said Tess Shimabukuro, KCFCU president.

Kylie Butts, a Kauai High School business management student, said in preparation for the opening, they were hosted to a two-week financial literacy orientation at KCFCU, learning about the different types of accounts, interest rates, the differences between a bank and credit unions, and more.

“We at KCFCU are quite proud of the business students at Kauai High School,” said Teri Kaniho of KCFCU. “Under the leadership of Greg Anderson, they have been able to accomplish a monumental project that will impact hundreds of students.”

In addition to operating the credit union, other students learned to brand Raider Credit Union, creating a design and logo incorporating the KCFCU theme of two hands representing the mountains to the sea, and the Kauai High School chicken hawk. They further went on to develop the credit union’s mission statement, “Creating a financially educated generation with Aloha.”

The opening of the Raider Credit Union is the second facility since opening the Warrior Credit Union at Kapaa High School in March.

“RCU is the result of communitywide efforts to improve the financial literacy on Kauai,” said Monica Belz, vice president of marketing at KCFCU. “We are delighted to see the product of true island collaboration.”

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