White House to Honor Credit Union Employee with Champions of Change Award for Running Start for Careers Curriculum
Shana Runck, assistant vice president of community relations and financial capabilities with New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union, will receive the Latino Educator Champions of Change award from the White House on Monday, September 22 due to her landmark work in promoting financial education and job training among students in New Mexico. Runck was nominated by her peers for the award based on her work helping to develop the City of Albuquerque's Running Start for Careers program and designing financial capabilities courses for high school and college students.
"New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union is honored that Shana will receive this prestigious national honor for her work with the community and helping students pursue education and careers in the financial services industry," said Terry Laudick, CEO of New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union. "The Credit Union has long been committed to the principles of education and community impact, and this work turns those commitments into reality."
The Running Start for Careers program, created by Mayor Richard J. Berry, allows high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors to earn dual-credit hours toward graduation while obtaining valuable work skills and on-the-job training in high demand industries. Mayor Berry created the framework for the program while he was a New Mexico State Representative. It allows students to graduate with an industry certificate showing pre-apprenticeship or career development training that could be submitted to potential employers. The program incorporates technical training, real world hands on experience, and soft skills without burdening the state with large capital investments or operational costs. Runck developed the program's Financial Services Career Exploration curriculum through New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union that focuses on careers in the financial industry from tellers and loan officers to marketing and human resources. New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union employed 14 interns last year, more than any other organization in the state participating in the Running Start for Careers program, in order to give students real world on-the-job training and course credit.
"We're thrilled that the New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union has joined our Running Start for Careers program. They bring a great private sector perspective and much-needed job openings," said Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry. "Shana has been instrumental in creating a robust finance curriculum for Running Start for Careers students. We are honored that her hard work has made a difference and is being nationally recognized by the White House as a Latino Educator Champions for Change award recipient."
In addition, Runck was an integral part of the team which created the financial capabilities program at New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union. The program is utilized by several educational institutions including Albuquerque Public Schools, Central New Mexico Community College, and the University of New Mexico, to provide students with the knowledge and skills to effectively manage their finances. The financial capabilities program is scalable to provide a full Common Core State Standards-aligned 18-module curriculum, individual financial workshops, and topic-specific courses. Runck works closely with each institution to modify and adapt the courses and curriculum to reflect the goals of each program.
The White House's Latino Educator Champions of Change award honors Americans who are doing "extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world." The White House receives hundreds of nominations each year with only a select amount of individuals chosen as finalists. Runck will be honored at a ceremony at the White House with other Champions of Change on September 22, 2014.
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