They opened the first-ever student-run credit union.
We recently caught up with Fairport High School FIDM Fashion Club Pres and credit union founding member Madison Vangellow to learn how students are stepping into the finance world!
How did the student-run credit union come to be? The planning process for the student-run credit union began four years ago as an idea from vice president of Advantage Federal Credit Union, Diane Miller, and business teacher, Regina Nichols. It finally became a reality this year when we opened in November 2019. The business students involved in the FIDM Fashion Club were eager to help launch this new credit union. Students went around to all of the business classes and educated others about the credit union and encouraged them to open an account.
Why was it important to you and your classmates to open a credit union on campus? It’s important to open a credit union on campus because it teaches kids the value of money and also provides a real-world experience of exchanging and dealing with money right next door. With so many high schoolers working part-time jobs, it’s a way to put our newly earned money into accounts, and learn how to run our own accounts, along with managing our own money.
What did it feel like to see media coverage of your school? I remember hearing that the credit union would be on the news and I was in awe. The media coverage made us feel like celebrities to have our names out in the newspaper or on the news for future employers, community members, and family to see. It was very nice to be recognized for our efforts.
What are some other activities your FIDM Fashion Club has been involved in this school year? In September, we were in the Club Fair trying to recruit more members to our growing club. In October, there was an opportunity to volunteer our time to help set up the Fashion Week of Rochester and also a chance to attend the show. Finally, in November, we started our Center for Youth Hoodie and Jacket Drive. We put boxes around school where kids could donate slightly used or new coats for kids less fortunate than ourselves to have for the upcoming cold months.
What else do you have planned for the future? I hope to get more people involved with setting up the Fashion Week of Rochester and also have the opportunity to attend the show later. I would also like to branch out and possibly help set up more local events in Fairport or surrounding areas to give back to the community while learning about the business world as well. A final idea I think would be cool to incorporate would be to host a panel of local small business owners to come in and talk to us about how they got started and share their insight into their experience.