Northeast Community Credit Union recently held a ribbon cutting event for the new Cyclone Branch, a student-run branch located inside Elizabethton High School.

Congressman John Holsclaw, Jr. praised the initiative for providing students with an invaluable project-based education.

The branch is the second student-run initiative that Northeast Community Credit Union has begun in Carter County. In 2019, the Unaka Ranger student-run branch opened at Unaka High School and continues working with its students.  Collaborating with school personal finance and business instructors, administrators and advisors, the Credit Union has helped many students develop practical saving and spending plans, learn what debt is about, and other personal finance concepts that are easier to grasp using real-life experiences.

The school branches are open a few hours each week.  Students learn to conduct financial transactions and take park in various training exercises led by NCCU personnel. The curriculum is planned to coincide with classroom lesson plans so the students can gain real life experience while receiving instruction on key personal finance topics. Through experiential learning programs, students learn about business, customer service, economic systems, how to make and stick to a budget, and much more.

Starting next semester at EHS, students will be selected to work in the Cyclone Branch through an actual interview process that also includes individual feedback to help students prepare for future job interviews. Students can earn community service credits required for scholarships and gain beneficial skills that will help them in workplaces later in their lives.

NCCU President/CEO Teresa Arnold said the opening of the EHS Branch was a group effort involving Elizabethton High School staff, the Northeast Community Credit Union Board of Directors, credit union staff, and the Tennessee State Department of Financial Institutions. “Giving students this advantage as they start their adult lives and careers is a definite plus for them, their families, and our whole community.  Sound judgement, common sense, and strong financial principals are important to making wise money choices.  We’ve seen how conservative choices impact personal resources as well as the health and wellbeing of our community.  We appreciate another opportunity to make a positive impact by helping students be better prepared to enter the workforce.”