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VACU Financial Education Reaches 36,571 in 2019

Cherry Dale works talks with Longwood College students about their financial plans.
Financial Education Director Cherry Dale talks with Longwood College students about their financial plans.

Virginia Credit Union’s financial education classes and workshops on budgeting, home buying, eliminating debt and other topics reached 36,571 individuals in 2019, the most ever.

Financial education is a major priority for the credit union, which employs four full-time educators on its staff. Programs were offered in-person and online.

The figure includes young people and adults. Virginia Credit Union reaches members and the public with programs in schools, community centers, public libraries and its own facilities.

2019 Highlights

  • 1,840 Middle School Students from Hanover County participated in the credit union’s new “How to Stay Safe Online” program.
  • More than 1,500 Richmond Public School students were reached through a preschool financial literacy program and back-to-school financial literacy nights for middle school students.
  • In partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University, the credit union officially launched the Virginia Credit Union Financial Success Center at VCU. A financial wellness director for the center has been hired by the University and programming and outreach have begun. Nearly 80 students completed Money Spot financial coaching appointments and 1,026 VCU students were reached through presentations the credit union gave on campus.
  • In a partnership with the Petersburg Federal Correctional Institution, Virginia Credit Union began a program to measure the financial knowledge gained by participants. VACU guided participants as they pulled their credit reports and developed a financial plan for re-entering society.

Virginia Credit Union began tracking the reach of its financial education programs several years ago after hiring trained educators to lead its efforts. The number of individuals reached has increased year by year. The number reached in 2019 was the most ever, and represents a 30 percent increase over 2018.

“Helping people learn to manage their money and develop greater confidence with financial matters is central to our credit union’s purpose,” said Chris Shockley, VACU President and CEO. We see financial health for our members as a core value and we look for ways to include it in every member interaction and community initiative.”

With four full-time financial education professionals on its staff, Virginia Credit Union offers weeklong money camps for teens, adult seminars in budgeting and reducing debt, workshops for teachers, and programs to educate first time homebuyers. Lesson plans designed by VACU Financial Education Director Cherry Dale, a former public school teacher, cover the basics of budgeting, saving, borrowing, reducing debt, and what to know before a making a major purchase, such as a car.


A financial cooperative serving more than 285,000 members, Virginia Credit Union provides a variety of affordable banking services, loans, mortgages, and financial education resources. Virginia Credit Union is an equal housing opportunity lender and is federally insured by NCUA.

Media Contact: Glenn Birch | glenn.birch@vacu.org | (804) 560-5664