Trenton, NJ – Visions Federal Credit Union has made a third installment toward Project Education, a million-dollar pledge to the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). The $100,000 donation will support the NJEA’s Office of Human and Civil Rights, Equity and Governance and fund the Visions Grant for Social Justice through the Hipp Foundation.
Project Education is a ten-year commitment that will total $1 million by 2030. Previous installments helped to establish and support the Office of Human and Civil Rights, Equity and Governance, which oversees statewide initiatives that impact educators, public schools, and the community.
Visions President/CEO Ty Muse says, “If we want to shape our communities, it starts with our children and their education. By providing public schools with a strong network of educators and awareness of social justice, we’re having a profound impact the students’ lives.”
“NJEA is proud to partner with Visions to support educational and social justice initiatives that benefit New Jersey’s public school students and NJEA members,” said NJEA President Sean M. Spiller. “Visions has deep roots in the education community – they care about and are proud to work with educators to expand opportunities for our members and the students we serve.”
In partnership with the Hipp Foundation, Project Education has funded two recipients of the Visions Grant for Social Justice. The grants, up to $10,000 each, are intended for educators and staff of public schools who propose innovative ideas to support social justice. Last year’s recipient was Lisa Hirkaler, an educator in Vernon Township, NJ, whose Social Justice Book Club for middle school students was funded. Her book club uses multicultural literature to highlight connections between art, art history, and current topics of social justice.
Visions Community Development Manager Hanna Mitchell oversees Visions Cares, the credit union’s charitable giving program. After meeting Hirkaler at a recent NJEA conference, Mitchell said, “Listening to the true-life stories of Lisa and other educators brought me to tears. Many have overcome unbelievable obstacles as educators and continue to give back to children and the community. These are true heroes we’re honored to serve and support.”
Partnering with the NJEA, Visions also provides free financial wellness opportunities to high school students throughout New Jersey. Their free in-person and virtual classes encourage financial literacy and help students to approach the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or other sources of financial aid for higher education.
Muse says, “From the time students enter the school system and through their college applications, NJEA supports their journey. We’re here to make it even stronger.”
The New Jersey Education Association is a diverse, democratic organization working to create an optimal environment to achieve excellence in public education in New Jersey. The mission of the NJEA is to advance and protect the rights, benefits, and interests of members, and to promote a quality system of public education for all students. Information is available at www.njea.org.
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. Visit www.visionsfcu.org for more information.