New credit union teaching students about finances

ISHPEMING — A ribbon cutting ceremony was held for Ishpeming’s newest credit union Wednesday, but it’s location is in a place that you wouldn’t expect.

Hematite Student Credit Union will be open to students at Birchview Elementary School every other Wednesday starting November 8th. Young Hematites can learn about saving money and balancing finances at an early age, with help from Honor Credit Union.

“This is kind of a piece of the financial awareness that we’re able to give back to the schools, kind of enhancing what they do already and putting them into a ‘real world’ situation,” said Honor Credit Union Branch Manager Jamie Gollakner.

There’s another bonus to the credit union: the bank tellers are also students. Fourth graders at Birchview went through interviews, tests and training to be sure they could handle money and understand confidentiality.

“It’s a way for them to kind of help us teach other kids in the school how to save,” said Gollakner.

Students can bring money to school on the designated days to put into a fully-functional bank account at Honor Credit Union. While Honor Credit Union has similar ventures like this downstate, this is the first in the Upper Peninsula.