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10/03/2011

Fossil Ridge High School students to open credit union this week

Students at Fossil Ridge High School in the Keller ISD are getting ready to open their own credit union branch, an arm of the Unity One Credit Union.

Grand opening for the Fossil Ridge Credit Union is Friday Oct. 7, with a ribbon-cutting, a “Cash Cube” filled with cash and other prizes, and appearances by the Unity One staff, including the chief executive, Gary Williams.

The credit union branch is being set up in a ticket office in front of the school’s performance hall, and will include cash drawers and a vault. Students, faculty and staff will be able to open accounts, deposit money, make withdrawals, and cash checks. Students will be able to open savings account without parents' permission, but must have parents' permission to open checking accounts. Unity One also will put up an ATM on site. Customers can fill out the paperwork for loans at the school location, but will have to go to a Unity One office to process the paperwork.

The Fossil Ridge Credit Union will have 17 student tellers who are largely members of the school’s AVID college prep program, said Erayne Gee Hill, Unity One spokeswoman.

“They’re going thru rigorous training,” Hill said. “They’ve been bonded to run the branch. It will be fully functioning on Friday.”

Branch hours will be Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and at lunch during the school year. Unity One personnel will be on hand to supervise transactions, but “we are trying to transition them to being independent, with just the (faculty) adviser and the staff,” Hill said.

The Fossil Ridge Credit Union will be equipped with the same software that Unity One tellers use, and the systems will be networked, with security in place to protect personal information, Hill said.

Unity One often has summer jobs, and the Fossil Ridge student tellers will have a leg up on those and possible fulltime employment in the future, Hill said. "They're already going to know our system," she said.

During October, Unity One will donate $5 to the nonprofit organization of choice for anyone who opens an account at the Fossil Ridge branch, Hill said.

Unity One sponsors three other school credit union branches locally, all at elementary schools.

Scott Nishimura 

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