Hiway Credit Union has been honored with the 2023 Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award and the 2023 Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award. These awards are sponsored by the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

Hiway received the Dora Maxwell Community Service Award for their Black Police Officers Association – Backpacks and Barbers event. Hiway conducted an internal school supply and toiletries drive, followed by a community center open house for families in need. The event provided children with backpacks filled with school supplies, a haircut from a local barber, and fun family activities, all just in time to get everyone looking good and ready for a new school year. The award is named in honor of Dora Maxwell, an early credit union pioneer, who partnered tirelessly with other organizations to serve the less fortunate.

In addition, Hiway’s ongoing youth financial well-being partnership with St. Paul Schools was awarded the Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award. In addition to being a regular presenter in the St. Paul Schools and hosting a Teacher Externship at Hiway offices, the St. Paul-based credit union conducts educational reality fairs using a mobile app, entitled Reality Bites.

The app gives each student a unique profile, including family status (married, single, kids, no kids), a job/income, and a credit score. The students then visit nine stations to make purchase decisions around their home, auto, groceries, utilities, transportation, and other necessities. Along their “road of life,” the students encounter unexpected situations, some positive and some negative, and they need to react. At the end, each student needs to come in within their budget or turn back and make some new choices. The Reality Fair creates lots of interaction and lots of conversations around needs, wants, lifestyle and budgeting. The award is named in honor of Alphonse Desjardins, who founded the first credit unions in Canada and the US and pioneered youth savings clubs and in-school financial services.

“We have a dedicated team here at Hiway who is committed to creating positive outcomes - particularly for the youth in our communities,” said Dave Boden, Hiway President/CEO. “Our relationship with the St. Paul Schools and with the SPPD has gotten stronger each year. We’re proud of the work that we have done, and we are committed to continuing to partner with these critical organizations for the greater good. We deeply appreciate the network’s recognition of these efforts!”

Hiway’s winning entries will now advance to the national competition, where they will compete with projects from credit unions in other states.