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The student staff cut the ribbon at Northwest for the grand opening. From left: Jimmy Strunk, Antenajia Carter, Alexandra Roelofs, marketing manager Tammy West. Jessica Fiorini, branch manager Kenny Merchant, Mercedes Heffron, Kayla Sammons and Jibria Walker. JENNIE KEY/THE COMMUNITY PRESS

Giving credit

Northwest district high schools now have credit unions By Jennie Key

Students at Colerain and Northwest high schools got a new kind of credit last week. The Northwest Local School District’s two high school credit unions opened Jan. 10 in partnership with the Cincinnati Police Federal Credit Union. The Northwest High School Knights Credit Union and Colerain High School Cardinals Credit Union are operated by high school students as part of each school’s financial literacy curriculum. “Most people who abuse checking accounts, debit cards and credit do so because they

lack education,” said credit union president Tina Wocher. “Just as math, science, English, and social studies are an important part of the curriculum, money management skills are important too.” The credit unions are branches of the Cincinnati Police Federal Credit Union and will able to process transactions just like the main branch. They are open during lunch in special kiosks in the cafeteria areas of the building Tuesday through Friday. The credit unions provide students with real-life financial lessons in opening and managing their own savings and checking accounts. The students working in the school

The student staff at the Cardinal Credit Union, from left: Brooke Schutte, Kayce Hoerth, Kiamari McGee, credit union president Tina Wocher, Jessica Fehring, branch manager Barbara Harper, Rupa Dhaurali, Savannah Smith, Paige Earley, Zachary Smith and Ben Lloyd

branch credit unions have been trained and some of them will have summer internships at the main branch. Peter Clark, financial services instructor for Butler Technology and Career Development Schools at Northwest, said criteria used to select students to work at the branch included grades, attendance and an interview. The Knights Credit Union manager Kenny Merchant has been accepted to Ohio State University where he hopes to study accounting. “This is a great opportunity for our students,” Clark said. Membership in the credit union is now open to students, parents, faculty and alumni of the high schools.

Educational assistant Ruby Rias was the Knights Credit Union's first customer. JENNIE KEY/THE COMMUNITY PRESS

ATMs are new additions to the lobby areas at both high schools. JENNIE KEY/THE COMMUNITY PRESS


Cutting the ribbon at Colerain for the grand opening are, from left Rupa Dhaurali , principal Maureen Heintz, Brooke Schutte and Paige Earley. THANKS TO PAULETTA CROWLEY Knights Credit Union branch manager Kenny Merchant gets information from Hayden Parker, who won a prize during the grand opening. JENNIE KEY/THE COMMUNITY PRESS

Jessica Fiorini, Kenny Merchant and Aleandra Roelofs get ready for customers. JENNIE KEY/THE COMMUNITY PRESS