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Bank opens branch on school this year

Freshman+Casey+Coffman+won+%24500+from+A%2B+Union+for+designing+the+debit+card+that+will+be+given+to+customers+at+the+Akins+branch.
Freshman Casey Coffman won $500 from A+ Union for designing the debit card that will be given to customers at the Akins branch.

Freshman Casey Coffman won $500 from A+ Union for designing the debit card that will be given to customers at the Akins branch.

Casey Coffman

Casey Coffman

Freshman Casey Coffman won $500 from A+ Union for designing the debit card that will be given to customers at the Akins branch.

Raidy Zanjeel, Staff Writer

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Students needing cash or wanting to deposit their paycheck will not have to go any further than the front of the school to take care of their regular banking needs starting next school year.

That’s because the A+ Federal Credit Union will be opening a bank branch on campus that will focus on serving the Akins campus and greater community. Akins administrators said they are pleased to see the bank becoming a reality because the project has been in the works for more than 10 years.

A+ already operates campus based bank branches at six other Austin area schools, but Akins is the first within Austin ISD to host a branch.

LeTicia Piper, A+’s high school branch manager, said the credit union has a commitment to education because it was founded by teachers. She said the bank branches provide them with a unique opportunity to serve its members through financial literacy education.

The partnership will allow students to participate and work in the bank. Students will be taking banking and business classes. Some students will be selected to work as bank tellers at the bank after school and on the weekends.

Students will work for two hours everyday, getting paid for the work they do, working a total of 16 to 20 hours a week.

“Students will work two hours per day so it’ll be double block (class) at the end of the day,” business teacher Andrew Hebenstreit said. “They’ll also work on the weekend (Saturdays) at a branch near by and they get paid $10.50 an hour to start.” 

“Credit unions are not profit driven, Accounts have fewer fees, lower loan rates, and typically higher dividend rates on funds that are on deposit””

— LeTicia Piper

Students working at the bank will go through a regular hiring process by the A+ personnel office so they will have to apply just like a normal job. Hebenstreit said he expects to have three students interning with A+ next year.

Bank representatives said they hope the convenient location of the branch will attract new customers and help young people learn about the advantages of banking with a credit union, which is set up as a non-profit organization.

To help generate interest in the new bank, A+ hosted a design contest for the debit card that will be given out to customers of the Akins branch. Students in graphic design classes submitted various designs, which were reviewed by campus, district and bank officials to select the winner.

Freshman Casey Coffman won the contest and $500. Coffman said he is excited to know that his design will be used for years on the debit cards.

“It’s cool that they’re going to use it,” Coffman said. “It was fun to do.”

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