In 1927, the financial cooperative that eventually became Unity One Credit Union was created by a small group of railway clerks with the Great Northern Railroad located in Minnesota who needed a financial institution that would work for the benefit of everyday people like them.

Today, Unity One continues to serve members across Texas, Kansas and Minnesota, bringing smart solutions to the table to help members live life more boldly and achieve financial success.

The credit union has also partnered with Zogo to enhance their financial education initiatives. Zogo caught up with Vice President of Marketing Alyssa Guillory to discuss the importance of financial literacy and how Unity One is using the app to teach high school students the ins and outs of personal finance. 

Zogo: How does Zogo factor into Unity One’s approach to financial education?

Alyssa Guillory: We were already doing a lot of in-person financial education, such as budgeting activities for high school students, and this just complements it and helps us meet students where they’re in terms of cost, availability and the things that they’re interested in. So Zogo compliments what we were already offering and everything we’re already doing. It helps reinforce the idea of the importance of financial education when students are in high school.

Z: I imagine having a digital option for financial education — as opposed to working directly with students in classrooms — has been helpful these past several months!

AG: Yes, absolutely. It’s been really nice, we’ve even had an uptick in users just in the past week or so.

Z: Why do you all believe these financial education initiatives are important? Why should credit unions be investing in these kinds of programs? 

AG: I don’t think that kids get exposed enough to finance and financial lessons growing up. For me, growing up money was always such a taboo subject. So having to go through life and kind of learn those lessons the hard way has made it really difficult. So I think it’s really important to do what we do: to go out and show kids that talking about money is okay, budgeting is not a bad word, learning to live within your means is okay. Zogo is just a really nice, easy way for us to do that. 

Z: What are your credit union’s goals with Zogo?

AG: Ultimately our goals are to not only convert those students — I mean, we’ve seen a nice range of age groups using it so far. We’re going to use it more specifically for high school students soon, but our goal is to ultimately convert those users into members and then have them open checking accounts or loan products or something similar. The ultimate goal at the end of the day is membership conversion — and that starts with giving them the tools they need to be empowered financially, starting now.