Meriwest Credit Union | 877-MERIWEST (877) 637-4937 | Routing Number 321176833

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Meriwest Credit Union Announces the Winners of the 2016-17 Essay Competition

Meriwest Executives meet with Winners

SAN JOSE, CA – March 16, 2017  –  Each year for the annual High School essay competition, Meriwest Credit Union asks young members to think outside the box and provide a different perspective of how they view a credit union. The Annual Competition is designed to motivate and support high school students in grades 9-12 who are planning to continue their academic achievements in college. This year, they were posed the question: The credit union philosophy is “People helping People". What could credit unions do to make this philosophy relevant to students? Meriwest’s student members did not disappoint with their answers.

This year’s topic challenged our students to suggest ways in which a credit union can continue to benefit students through products, services and community outreach in support of our “People Helping People” philosophy. This year’s competition challenged our youthful members to familiarize themselves of the benefits and philosophy of the credit union movement, and many took it upon themselves to learn more about the facts and benefits of credit unions, and how it differs from traditional banks.

“It’s encouraging to see that students today understand the role of “people helping people”. From a credit union perspective or from a life perspective, these students believe in outreach and objectives that can make a difference for others financially,” said Tony Cortez, SVP and Chief Experience Officer. “I look forward to seeing what they accomplish in their future endeavors.”

Our First Place high school senior, Rachel B., had a variety of creative and insightful suggestions. The most compelling and relevant suggestion, we found, was classes to educate students on the benefits of financial literacy. “Students shouldn’t have to enter the real world without having basic information about how to handle their money. Credit Unions could teach students wise ways to invest their money and stay out of unnecessary debt.” Meriwest Credit Union couldn’t agree more, and currently provides a variety of presentation topics to local are students.

“This year’s recipients of the essay competition truly raised the bar with an amazing ability to fully appreciate the honor of “People Helping People” and particularly as it relates to their peers,” said Julie Kirsch, President and CEO. “Helping people is one of Meriwest’s core values and we were truly excited to see many great ideas that we can put into action.”

Photo Caption: Tony Cortez, SVP and Chief Experience Office (left) and Julie Kirsch, President and CEO (right) are shown here with five of our winners; Jessica T., Rashi R., Derek L., Kathryn H. and Carolyn R.

About Meriwest Credit Union    

Meriwest Credit Union, one of Silicon Valley’s largest and established financial institutions, has been providing proactive, personal, convenient and innovative financial services to over 72,000 businesses and families throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Tucson, Arizona, since 1961. More information can be found at

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