Endwell, NY – Visions Federal Credit Union is proud to announce two, new in-school financial wellness centers at high schools in New Jersey's Passaic and Morris Counties.

Located at Manchester Regional High School in Haledon and Jefferson High School in Jefferson Township, these locations are part of an initiative called the Visions Business Academy. This program provides school communities with financial literacy programs, staff support, member services, and internship opportunities.

Over the last decade, Visions has introduced similar programs to schools throughout their three-state footprint in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. In 2019, Leonia High School was the first in New Jersey to adopt the Visions Business Academy. Manchester and Jefferson are the second and third, with three other schools in the works for 2024.

"It's great to know that we're filling an important educational need in our communities, not only for the students, but also for teachers and families," says Alex Kuhnen, Visions' Academic Relationship Manager.

Students of Manchester and Jefferson who are over the age of 16 are invited to apply for internships with Visions, providing work experience, networking opportunities, and professional development. "As a student who had no experience in the financial field, I am glad that I was willing to apply for the internship," said Tiziana Villavicencio, High School Intern. "It broadened my knowledge and allowed me to practice my marketing skills. I can't wait to do it again in my senior year!"

The interns work as credit union ambassadors and enhance financial literacy in their school districts and are supported by an In-School Financial Wellness Officer provided by Visions. Utilizing the in-school financial wellness center, these teams can facilitate opening new accounts, referrals, and other services for Visions members.

The students also receive free access to many professional development opportunities offered to Visions employees, such as eLearning tools, Job Shadow, and a learning library.

"Having Visions in Leonia High School has been a wonderful experience for students," said Jean O'Neil, who teaches business at Leonia. "They learn real world situations and skills by either working at the branch, playing games, or listening to professional speakers."

Beyond financial literacy and internships, the Visions' academic partnership provides the school communities with online resources, special events, and the Visions Loves Educators initiative. Educators can qualify and apply for exclusive bonuses, a Student Loan Eraser program, and awards for Educators of the Year.

O'Neil said, "Visions has also been very generous with their time and donations." With volunteer efforts, sponsorships, and grants, Visions often supports school clubs, organizations, and projects, and through their Project Education grant, they've pledged a total of $1 million to the New Jersey Education Association by 2030.

According to Villavicencio, "Every high school should have their own branch!"

Applications for high school internships will be posted online, with links available at visionsfcu.org/internships. More about the Visions Loves Educators program can be found at visionsloveseducators.com.

About Visions Federal Credit Union

Visions Federal Credit Union is a not for profit financial institution completely owned by its members. Established in 1966, Visions proudly serves over 250,000 members in communities throughout New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Services include banking as well as auto, home, personal, and business loans. 

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