CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) – The Royal Credit Union offers a financial literacy program at the Chippewa Valley Correctional Treatment Center. The course is designed to help CVCTF men prepare for their release from the facility. During the program, participants learn how to budget, pay bills, and how credit works.
Darrin Cowser is in the Department of Correctional Care at CVCTF. He has participated in and completed the financial literacy training program and believes it is a good tool to keep in his back pocket.
“Going through this program gave me a lot of insight into how to budget money and build a credit history so I could get credit,” Cowser said. “Credit is just borrowing money, which I didn’t know. Now I understand that, so maybe it will help me make bigger purchases like a house, owning a home, and owning a vehicle. .
Brandon Riechers is the CEO and President of RCU. On Wednesday, he saw the class first hand and had the chance to hear what the participants learned.
“What are they going to support when they join the community, what impact will that have on how they can teach their families, I hear a lot about saving, a lot about how they can read credit card statements, understanding what they’re paying interest,” Riechers said. “It’s very gratifying to hear that.”
Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld and Department of Corrections Secretary Kevin Carr were also present for Wednesday’s instruction.
Blumenfeld says it was a touching experience to watch the participants learn.
“Seeing the knowledge imparted to these people helps develop their financial acumen, money management and financial mindset so that when they live here they can come into the community on a good footing and get on the right path. financial well-being,” says Blumenfeld.
Carr says the most impactful part of the experience for him was hearing participants talk about how they could use what they learned in the future.
“When I heard how the people who received this educational opportunity thought it would help them and their families when they return to their communities, it warmed my heart”
Cowser believes this class can be helpful for anyone looking to improve themselves or make better financial choices.
“It can still give you tools to help you save more money, do something with your money instead of just wasting it on things you don’t need, but want,” said Cowser.
Riechers says the financial literacy program began in 2015 teaching at Eau Claire County Jail. Since then, including the CVCTF, Barron and Dunn County Jails have also implemented the program. He says that with the data collected so far, the class has had a positive impact on those returning to their communities.
“We’ve seen statistics on how it’s helped people back in the community, so it’s very positive from that perspective,” Riechers said.
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