High School Credit Unions
How it All Started
Gesa Credit Union opened the first local high school credit union branch at Richland High School in 2000. In 2002, the Hanford High School branch opened, followed in the spring of 2005 with a Pasco High School branch.
In the first few years, Gesa's Marketing and Accounting departments worked closely with these cooperative credit unions with training and operational guidance. In 2007, Gesa hired an Education Specialist who works as a liaison with the schools and the community on youth outreach. This coordinator is also a member of Richland, Kennewick and Pasco’s Career and Technical Advisory Boards.
Our High School Credit Union Program provides hands-on, real life financial industry experience for high school students. Currently located in ten high schools within Eastern Washington, the student-ran Campus Branches open during lunch periods and enable the school’s student body and staff to access their accounts or perform basic account transactions in a realistic credit union atmosphere. Students working in the Campus Branches are hand-selected through a formal interview process.
Depending on the high school's curriculum, the branch is operated through the Accounting, Financial Services, or DECA programs. Teachers from each school guide the students in class throughout the year, with the support of their Campus Branch Managers and Gesa’s Education & Outreach Specialists.
Campus Branch students must present themselves in a professional, courteous manner when dealing with members, student staff and credit union personnel. As “financial institution professionals,” they’re the guardians of their members’ funds and financial information, and are required to maintain confidentiality at all times. Gesa’s Student Staff also needs to be constantly aware that they’re “the face of Gesa” to student members and their families, to school staff – and by extension, our communities.
Gesa hires one student intern at each school to serve as their school’s Campus Branch Manager. The Campus Branch Managers supervises the students during daily operation of the Campus Branch, with the HSCU Teacher’s support. Student Interns also serve as Member Service Associates within their home Member Service Centers, receiving both managerial and financial industry experience during their internship.
- Kennewick - Kennewick High School
- Richland - Delta High School
- South Kennewick - Southridge High School
- South Richland - Kamiakin High School
- Pasco - Pasco High School
- Member Contact Center - Richland High School
- West Pasco - Chiawana High School
- West Richland - Hanford High School
- Yakima 40th - Eisenhower High School
- Walla Walla Poplar - College Place High School