For Immediate Release:
April 28, 2017
Jennifer A. Connolly
Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts
LUSO FEDERAL CREDIT UNION EMPLOYEES RECEIVE FINANCIAL EDUCATOR AWARDS
[Ludlow, MA] –Sharon Dufour Chief Financial Officer for LUSO Federal Credit Union, and Kimberly Anderson, Community Relations Representative for LUSO, were recognized on National Financial Educators Day, for their hard work and dedication to promoting financial literacy education in Ludlow, Hampden, and Wilbraham. Nominated by Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts, Dufour and Anderson, supported by LUSO Federal Credit Union and a grant from the Joseph and Anna C. Dias Family Foundation bring financial literacy education to thousands of youth in Ludlow, Hampden and Wilbraham.
Every child in Ludlow schools and St. John the Baptist School, grades kindergarten through eighth grade participates in a JA program each year- over 1800 students. In Hampden they serve all the students at Thornton Burgess Middle School and in Wilbraham, all the students at Wilbraham Middle School- nearly 800 students all together. Dufour and Anderson not only secure the funding for the programs but recruit and train nearly one hundred volunteers to deliver the programs. Dufour and Anderson also teach multiple JA programs each year.
Dufour noted, “It is important to help our youth develop the skills they will need to manage their personal finances as well as develop work readiness skills. The Junior Achievement program offers an easy to follow, age appropriate curriculum to teach these skills while allowing the volunteer to enrich the program with practical applications from the volunteer’s experience. Working with the students and teachers is a pleasure. I enjoy every minute in the classroom helping the students learn and watching them as they grow more confident in their knowledge and gain new skills each year!”
“I first became involved in the Junior Achievement program four years ago and to be honest at that point the program was just part of my job. However as I began to work with the materials and became involved in the classroom JA is no longer just a job”, said Anderson. “I look forward to spending time in the classrooms with the students and teacher each year. I encourage everyone to volunteer and become involved in this very important literacy program. The only requirement you need is a desire to spend time with students as all materials for the program including volunteer training is provided.”
Jennifer Connolly, President of Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts noted, “It is an honor to be able to work with Sharon Dufour and Kimberly Anderson and LUSO Federal Credit Union. They both have amazing passion and an enduring drive to make sure that our young people are able to make sound financial decisions in the future. Junior Achievement is proud to be able to support their financial education efforts.”
About Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts
Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts was founded in Springfield, MA in 1919 and is the birthplace of JA. Today more than 11,500 students in grades K-12 in Western MA participate in JA programs annually. For more information, visit www.jawm.org.