2016 Applicant: Michael Murdoch

Michael Murdoch is a 34-year-old Marketing Specialist of NW Priority Credit Union ($236M) in Portland, Oregon, United States.

Project Title
People Providing Hope

Short Pitch
A comprehensive financial education program offering tailored coursework and co-operative banking products and services – within a safe and social space – to select, at-risk people aged 16 to 24.

“Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.” – Former banker, Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption

Every year in the United States, more than 2 million youth, ages 16-24, will face homelessness. Many are in the throes of adolescence and lack the skills and assistance to live self-sufficiently, which includes financial literacy, the securing of a job and more importantly, a home.

Enter People Providing Hope, an intensive program designed to engage and educate select groups of alienated and disaffected youth, through activities that help them acquire financial literacy and banking skills, gain work experience and ultimately improve their lives. 

The entire platform would be offered at no cost to participating youth, but a variety of credit unions would be leveraged to obtain funding from grants, donations, and other programs. Cooperative efforts among local financial institutions would also foster collaboration among community groups, schools, and agencies to amplify the reach and benefits of the People Providing Hope campaign.

Remember, the very first credit union members weren’t noblemen or aristocrats - they were at-risk themselves; peasants, refugees, and outcasts. As institutions built on the belief that everyone deserves a fair shot at life, credit unions have the philosophic responsibility to develop and implement financial education coursework for those who have no societal voice and who desperately need our help. 

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