May 23, 2014 -- Montana Credit Unions for Community Development (MCUCD) has presented the Student Assistance Foundation (SAF) with the 2014 MCUCD Philosophy in Action Award, recognizing SAF's ongoing partnership with MCUCD and its long-time commitment to matched savings account programs for Montana students.
|The SAF Outreach Team takes a break from their staff meeting to celebrate with MCUCD Executive Director Karen Smith (sixth from the left).|
Over the years, SAF has been MCUCD's valued partner in providing students and families with knowledge, tools, and resources to pursue post-secondary goals. MCUCD and SAF have worked together on various projects for more than a decade. In 2005, SAF provided the match funds necessary to launch the Montana Students Save program, which helped hardworking students with limited incomes save for higher education by matching dollars and encouraging them to establish a pattern of saving. The success of that program and support from SAF allowed MCUCD to initiate the Montana Education Savings Account (MESA) program in 2010. SAF has been instrumental in starting and growing the MESA program -- connecting MCUCD with school partners, providing financial education to participants, and promoting the program.
Karen Smith, executive director for MCUCD, said, "SAF has put its money where its vision is and made a profound difference for Montana students."
In turn, SAF considers its partnership with MCUCD and Montana credit unions a win-win.
"We find tremendous value in our work with credit unions throughout the state," said Kelly Cresswell, vice president of Foundatin Activities at SAF. "Together, we have helped hundreds of students save for their education goals and learn more about managing their money."
The Philosophy in Action Award was established in 2006 to recognize those whose efforts reflect the credit union philosophy of "people helping people." This is the first time an organization outside of Montana's immediate credit union family has received the award, but SAF is special. The Student Assistance Foundation truly exemplifies the cooperative spirit, and we are so grateful for the work they do every day to help students across the state reach their educational goals.