Credit union could bring banking, financial education to Greater Latrobe Senior High
Greater Latrobe Senior High students this fall may have access to a menu of banking services in the school cafeteria.
The school board is expected to vote on an agreement Tuesday that would allow Latrobe’s LESCO Federal Credit Union to establish a branch in the school, with student interns helping to run the operation.
The credit union branch would operate two days a week, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, said Jon Mains, the district’s 11th- and 12th-grade principal. That would coincide with the Lunch and Learn period to be introduced in the fall to allow students to eat and seek extra academic help.
The cafeteria is “like a central location for students,” Mains said.
School staff also would be able to use the LESCO branch, which would be equipped with an ATM.
“Pretty much, it’s a full-functioning bank,” Mains said.
A LESCO employee would be at the branch at all times to supervise up to four unpaid student interns, most likely seniors, he said.
The internships, Mains said, would be a good fit with the school’s personal finance class and its Career Pathways initiative, which helps students select courses pertinent to a target profession.
“Financial literacy is so important. It’s a crucial part of education,” said Taylor Kilmer, a LESCO marketing specialist. “The earlier the students can learn about saving and managing money, the better. This is going to go hand and hand with that.”
The idea of having a credit union branch at the school began when Greater Latrobe staff became aware of a similar program at Bensalem Township School District in Bucks County. They soon learned there are other examples closer at hand — at Norwin High School and at Penn-Trafford High School, where Westmoreland Community Federal Credit Union since 2013 has operated a branch with student tellers under the name Warrior Cash Stash .
Greensburg Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School opened its own Centurion Cash Stash student credit union in 2015.
“The branch at Penn-Trafford does do student loans, but at least for the first year, we’re not going to get into those,” Mains said.
Marketing students will be asked to develop an appropriate name for the proposed Greater Latrobe LESCO branch.
“We’d like to do a kickoff event when students come back to school on the first day, to get the word out,” Mains said.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter @jhimler_news.