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Credit union opens first in-school branch at WHHS

West Henderson High School students, Mountain Credit Union officials and business leaders cut ribbon in a branch at West High. West Henderson High School students, Mountain Credit Union officials and business leaders cut ribbon in a branch at West High.

Mountain Credit Union has announced the grand opening of the region's first ever student-run in-school credit union branch, which is at West Henderson High School.

In partnership with Henderson County Public Schools, students at WHHS will have the opportunity to gain real-life experience and develop hands on cash handling and career skills. Prospective students were interviewed, selected and will be trained as credit union employees. Among several duties, these students will run their branch and teach fellow students and teachers how to manage their accounts and finances.

"Student-run branches have been a staple for quite some time at Credit Unions near Winston-Salem, Charlotte and around the country, but this is a relatively new concept for the Mountains," said Chris Angel, Mountain Credit Union's Business Development Director. Patty Idol, President / CEO of Mountain Credit Union added, "We are excited to be a part of this effort and look forward to this joint venture with Henderson County Public Schools."

The branch is intended to:

Create an educational environment in which young people will have hands-on experience in a financial setting.

Increase the knowledge of today's youth regarding money management and credit score management (establish, manage and protect their credit scores) through the use of presentations on savings, budgets, establishing credit and other financial management topics.

Create a new generation of savers by showing the importance of setting realistic savings goals and offering age appropriate savings programs.

Provide a supplement to current math, computer and social skills through experiences learned while working as a volunteer in the school credit union branch.

Teach the student volunteers life-long employment skills such as organization, human relations, cash handling and teamwork.

Introduce the importance of building a relationship with a financial institution.

Create an experience that reinforces a strong work ethic and financial responsibility.

The branch, located inside the school near the cafeteria, is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during lunch periods. This branch will also follow the posted school calendar and will not be open during times of exams, teacher workdays or in cases of school closure due to inclement weather. A ribbon cutting event is scheduled for Thursday, February 19th.

Students and faculty can open accounts and make deposits & withdrawals during the posted hours of operation. The student volunteers will be available for all transactions and Mountain Credit Union liaisons will be available for training and to make certain that accuracy and confidentiality are maintained.

For more information about Mountain Credit Union's Student-Run Credit Union program, please contact Chris Angel at 828-667-7245 x 2707 or email

Mountain Credit Union has seven branch offices located throughout Western North Carolina and serves anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison and Swain Counties of North Carolina. For more information, please visit