The St. Louis Community Credit Union Foundation recently opened the CU Excel Center™ in Northwoods, MO. This new financial literacy and life skills education facility will serve as a destination point and a trusted resource for consumer information, education and empowerment for the residents of St. Louis. The CU Excel Center is located at 95 North Oaks Plaza, nestled in the North Oaks Shopping Center at the intersection of Natural Bridge and Lucas and Hunt. The initiative is being brought to the community by the St. Louis Community CU Foundation, with the generous support of Carrollton Bank and St. Louis Community Credit Union.
As evidenced by the fact that St. Louis is one of the most “unbanked” cities in the U.S. for the African-American population (FDIC, 2009), the St. Louis Community Credit Union’s Foundation saw an opportunity to provide a destination point for financial literacy education. St. Louis City is also considered to be a perennial “poverty center.” The percentage of families in poverty has grown in the past three censuses. From 1990 through 2010, the area has increased in residents who are in poverty.
St. Louis Community Credit Union hosted a special ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 4 to celebrate the opening of the facility. Nearly 50 people were in attendance including Congressman William Lacy Clay; Mattie Moore, deputy director for U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill; Mayor Everett Thomas; Rep. Clem Smith (District 71); Rep. Sharon Pace (District 70); representatives from Carrollton Bank and St. Louis Community Credit Union board of directors and staff.
The CU Excel Center will offer free financial education classes and seminars to the public. This outreach endeavor is the first of its kind in our community. St. Louis Community and Carrollton Bank employees will teach many of these classes, with help from partner community groups. Collectively, these groups will join forces to help low-to-moderate income residents improve their standard of living and better their lifestyle. Areas of outreach include:
“The St. Louis Community CU Foundation is excited to open the CU Excel Center to help encourage self-sufficiency and financial dignity through the power of education,” said St. Louis Community CU Foundation Director Dorothy Bell. “It’s all about serving the community for us.”
The CU Excel Center occupies around 2,400 square feet of space. It is equipped with two classroom/meeting areas that can be used for educational purposes and community outreach. Hours of operation for the CU Excel Center are based on community need. For more information, visit cuexcelcenter.com.
The St. Louis Community CU Foundation and St. Louis Community Credit Union have a track record for success when it comes to financial literacy. To date, more than 16,000 people have been touched by their financial education efforts. In addition, the Foundation funds financial educational initiatives, including a scholarship for non-traditional students.Photo caption: Dorothy Bell (Director, St. Louis Community CU Foundation; VP-PR & Community Affairs, St. Louis Community Credit Union), Patrick Adams (President & CEO, St. Louis Community Credit Union), Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay, Gerald Brooks (Board Chairman, St. Louis Community Credit Union), Mayor Everett Thomas (City of Northwoods), Susan Katzman (Board Chairperson, St. Louis Community CU Foundation), Tom Hough (CEO, Carrollton Bank), Rep. Clem Smith (Dist. 71), Mattie Moore (Deputy Director, Senator McCaskill) and Rep. Sharon Pace (Dist. 70).