Is your financial institution invested in your local community? You might be unaware, but Del Norte Credit Union consistently demonstrates its community support via its charitable branch, the Del Norte LOV Foundation. This nonprofit entity is pledged to champion and connect with the communities they operate in. Their mission is clear: spread love far and wide.
Established in 2018 by staff members of Del Norte Credit Union and officially recognized as a 501(c)3 charitable organization in 2020, the Del Norte LOV Foundation focuses on financial education, volunteer efforts, academic enrichment, and bettering the lives of young people and their households. Everyone participating in the foundation is deeply committed to this cause, aiming to enact meaningful change in their local areas.
Matthew Ruybal, associate director of the Del Norte LOV Foundation, explains, “It came out of an idea and a desire from the employees to do something that had some lasting impact.” He adds, “Youth and education, and improving lives, that’s a big part of our mission through Del Norte Credit Union. They’ve always done things to try and address those areas, but as the Del Norte LOV Foundation continues to expand and grow, we hope to make a bigger difference in many areas.”
To accomplish its objectives, the Del Norte LOV Foundation zeroes in on executing a variety of programs.
A central project that has been with the Del Norte LOV Foundation since its inception — one that the Credit Union ardently supports — is financial literacy. This covers a broad spectrum, from establishing and managing checking and savings accounts to personalized debt advice. Del Norte LOV Foundation is on a mission to empower community members by offering education on fiscal issues, starting at an early age, specifically in educational settings.
Del Norte LOV Foundation’s Academic Financial Literacy initiative is facilitated via Banzai Schools and is presently active in 93 educational institutions throughout the regions served by Del Norte Credit Union: Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Española, White Rock, and Rio Rancho. Since its launch, this initiative has educated 15,560 students, thanks to the commitment of 253 dedicated educators. And those statistics will continue to rise as time goes on.
At Del Norte Credit Unions, we strive to make a positive change in our communities every day.
“All materials are appropriate for students from the age of 8 all the way up to the early college years,” notes Ruybal. “Any teachers who are interested in joining this program, and accessing the materials for their classrooms, are invited to register any time for free. We always encourage educators who want to enroll with the Banzai Financial Literacy resources, to give us a call. It’s a really simple process, there’s no cost, and it’s a program that is in both English and Spanish, so it works really well in our area.”
In case you’re under the impression that these resources are exclusive to Del Norte Credit Union clientele, here’s some great news: all Banzai materials are accessible to the broader public, including families with kids. Youngsters start questioning their world at an early age, and when it comes to financial matters, the answers are often anything but straightforward. Questions like, why do groceries cost so much? What’s the point of saving birthday money? What is inflation? What does cryptocurrency mean?
Imagine the convenience of having a go-to source to address these and similar fiscal concerns as a parent. Good news — comprehensive information for navigating such questions is freely available via the Del Norte LOV Foundation website.
Del Norte LOV Foundation Educational Scholarships
One more initiative managed by the Del Norte LOV Foundation is Del Norte Credit Union’s enduring scholarship offering. Starting in early January each year, all high school seniors on the cusp of graduation, as well as GED earners, are invited to submit scholarship applications via the website. Similar to the Financial Literacy initiative, there’s no prerequisite for applicants to have parents who are members of Del Norte Credit Union.
“They can also be students from around the state, not just the counties that we serve,” Ruybal points out. “Students who receive those scholarships can utilize them at any higher education institution of their choice. Last year we gave out a total of $16,000 in awards to ten students. As we grow as a foundation, we hope to grow that as well.”
Additional Areas of Support
Apart from its signature programs, the Del Norte LOV Foundation offers various other initiatives that significantly impact Northern New Mexico. Open throughout the year, the Community Sponsorship program welcomes applications from nonprofit entities or local organizations with a nonprofit backer. These sponsorships need to be in line with the Del Norte LOV Foundation’s core objectives but can be designed to support a range of activities, from Little League contests and school mini-marathons to resources for adult learning. Check the website for more information.