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Youths can point the way forward for local credit unions – GECCU

Youths can point the way forward for local credit unions – GECCU

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The youth can point the way forward for local credit unions.

That is the view of chairperson of General Employees Co-operative Credit Union (GECCU) Scholarship Committee Mineva Glasgow.

Glasgow’s point was made this week at GECCU’s annual youth leadership symposium, which was held under the theme, “Gen Z: Credit Union Agents for Change.”

The symposium was held at the Anglican Pastoral Centre and senior marketing officer at GECCU Danny-Lee Francis explained that each year, all GECCU’s scholarship holders are brought together for the two-day event.

Glasgow herself was not present, so her remarks were delivered by Francis.

Glasgow addressed the “Generation Z” theme, explaining that this term is used to describe a unique group of individuals who were born after 1998.

“The question that begs an answer is, how can the credit union utilize these young people as catalysts for change in today’s dynamic environment?”

She said that the “Generation Z-ers” must be given a chance to participate meaningfully in the management and operations of the credit union movement and that the attempt by GECCU a few years ago to start a youth arm is a step in the right direction.

According to Glasgow, the next step for utilizing the generation Z-ers as agents of change is to make a conscious effort to have at least one of them represented on the Board of Directors and on every committee.

“This way, they would be integrally involved in the decision-making process and you would also be preparing them to take over the mantle of leadership in succeeding years,” Glasgow said.

She stressed that GECCU must ensure that the generation Z-ers identify with its core values, promises, mission, vision and cultural statement.

Glasgow also encouraged the students to become immersed in the credit union.

“A good place to start is to build constructive rapport with your peers. Help them to understand the credit union’s philosophy of people helping people. Let them know that there are real and tangible benefits to be derived from becoming a member of the credit union,” said Glasgow.

Scholarship holders were also schooled in the credit union philosophy, professional development and team building, among other things at the two-day symposium.

“We do this to let them know that they are not just scholarship holders to us, but the roots and beginning of the credit union,” said Francis, who added that GECCU is trying to help the students understand the values and principles that credit unions are guided by.

This year, approximately 60 students attended the seminar, which also heard remarks from former GECCU scholar Kimberly Cambridge.

Cambridge, like Glasgow, pointed to the students being the future of the credit union.

“We need ideas from you that are going to ensure that we continue to grow, expand, and keep our members interested,” said Cambridge.(LC)

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