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Friday, January 16, 2015   (0 Comments)
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LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) has honored Kelli Ellsworth Etchison, LAFCU vice president of community and business development, with the 2014 Credit Union Youth Advocate of the Year award.

This achievement recognizes a credit union employee for outstanding individual contributions that serve youths, including promoting or teaching youth financial education, promoting cooperative youth financial resources and participating in community outreach efforts for youth development.

“Kelli Ellsworth Etchison is a tireless advocate for youth financial education in the mid-Michigan area,” said Patrick Spyke, executive vice president of LAFCU. “She has led the development of several innovative youth outreach efforts, as well as youth products and services that dramatically expanded during 2014.”

Ellsworth Etchison’s efforts extended the reach and branding of LAFCU’s existing financial literacy programs including LAFCU My Way, designed for teens and young adults, and Planet M Club, for kids up to age 12. Each program includes website content that delivers information in ways effective for its specific age group.

“I am very excited about being named Credit Union Youth Advocate of the Year,” declared Ellsworth Etchison. “Although the recognition is appreciated, it’s really about the kids and teaching them the importance of saving and managing their money. These are skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. I find that very rewarding.”

            Additional advancements spearheaded by Ellsworth Etchison with support of the LAFCU team include the following:  

·         Student-run branch offices in Perry schools. Student tellers, under the supervision of LAFCU employees, access account information in real time to view accounts, log deposits, and print receipts using a thermal printing machine. This is the first time access has been available outside LAFCU facilities. This program has been implemented in the Perry school district, and there are plans to expand it to others.

·         An agreement to underwrite and facilitate an online financial literacy program for students aged 13-18 in seven school districts. Since September 2014, 580 students have enrolled in this robust interactive program. It presents life scenarios in which students learn to pay bills, balance a budget and manage unexpected expenses.

·         Increased in-school and other youth presentations. As an example, one presentation included a six-session financial literacy program for 215 kids, aged 7-18, at a basketball camp.

·         An expanded Write to Educate scholarship contest. This initiative builds relationships with youths, provides development opportunities for graduating high school seniors via college scholarships and demonstrates the importance of helping others through a give-back component. Each winner selects a charity for a LAFCU donation. Scholarship awards have totaled $17,500; donations to selected charities have been $2,000. The number of scholarships doubled this year.

Ellsworth Etchison will receive her award and be honored at a breakfast ceremony during the Michigan Credit Union League’s annual convention and exposition in Traverse City, scheduled June 4-6, 2015.


About the Michigan Credit Union League

Based in Lansing, MCUL is a statewide organization that exists to strengthen the credit union community and its image by providing advocacy on important issues, coordinating cooperative initiatives and providing high-quality solutions that help credit unions succeed and enrich the lives of their members.



Chartered in 1936, LAFCU is proud to be mid-Michigan’s credit union, serving the counties of Barry, Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Livingston, Montcalm and Shiawassee. A recipient of the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award, LAFCU takes pride in bringing value to the financial lives of its members, neighbors, families and community. Offering a comprehensive range of personal and business financial products, LAFCU provides services that include checking and savings accounts, auto and mortgage lending, business accounts and business lending. LAFCU serves 55,000 members, holds more than $580 million in assets, and maintains eight locations throughout Greater Lansing and Shiawassee County. Anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in its designated counties is eligible to join. Members enjoy benefits, such as lower interest rates on loans, higher yields on savings, insurance discounts, preferred seating for LAFCU-sponsored events, and access to 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs through the CO-OP ATM network. LAFCU supports and enriches mid-Michigan by donating funds and employee volunteer hours to many organizations and causes. To learn more about LAFCU, please call 517.622.6600 or find us online:

·         Website:

·         Facebook:

·         Twitter: @LAFCULansing


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