Ascentra Credit Union has been selected by The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines (FHLB Des Moines) as one of seven competing for $15,000 to use to further promote economic development opportunities in their community.
Ascentra Credit Union has partnered with Diversity Service Center of Iowa (DSCI) to apply for the Strong Communities Award, which honors the projects, people, and programs that promote local small business growth and retention. The winners of the award will be determined through a public vote. If selected, Ascentra would use the award to further expand the program.
Ascentra, through collaboration with the DSCI, launched the Newcomers Initiative, an asset building initiative to help immigrants and refugees in paying for the growing cost of residency, naturalization, and other related fees. The program provides a dignified way of paying for needed services through the proper channels, which furthers the community’s economic development as a whole. Newcomers add to the workforce, tax base, and are more likely to start businesses.
“We are excited to announce Ascentra Credit Union as a finalist for our Strong Communities Award,” said Mike Wilson, president and CEO, FHLB Des Moines. “Ascentra Credit Union’s residency project demonstrated a strong commitment to their community, and we wish them the best of luck as we enter the public voting period.”
“I’m proud to say the Newcomers Initiative has been a great success for everyone involved,” commented Dale Owen, President and CEO, Ascentra Credit Union. “The immigrants and refugees in our community face unique financial challenges and are too often preyed upon by unscrupulous lenders. This project’s efforts help them overcome many of these barriers and introduces them to a trusted not-for-profit financial institution.”
As participants pay their loans, they are ensuring that someone else in a similar situation can benefit from these guaranteed low-interest loans for years to come.
“They are truly paying it forward,” said Alvaro Macias, AVP of Community Development, Ascentra Credit Union. “It speaks to the people-helping-people philosophy which our industry was founded upon.”
Voting is now open and the public will have the opportunity to vote for finalists from Sept. 10 – Sept. 14, 2018. FHLB Des Moines challenges communities to rally behind their project by visiting the Strong Communities Award homepage at www.fhlbdm.com/award. The voting will serve as a component of the selection process to choose the winners. Winners will be awarded $15,000 each, and runner-ups will be awarded $3,000 each.
For more information on the FHLB Des Moines Strong Communities Award visit www.fhlbdm.com/award.