Gesa Credit Union Partners with Tacoma Public Schools to Launch New Fundraising Affinity Card Benefitting Local Students

Gesa Credit Union has announced its partnership with Tacoma Public Schools to launch its Affinity Debit Card Program, which raises funds for programs benefitting local students. With every swipe, the new co-branded Affinity Debit Card will support Jobs 253, a district-wide initiative that offers meaningful employment opportunities for students across Foss High School, Lincoln High School, Mount Tahoma High School, Silas High School and Stadium High School.

As part of the partnership, Gesa will also bring its history-making High School Credit Union Program (HSCU) to the district. Since 2000, the program has provided hands-on, real-life financial industry experience to 13 student-operated high school branches across Washington. In 2022, the program became the first Financial Sector Career Launch endorsed program in the state through Career Connect Washington.

Gesa’s first high school credit union branch in Tacoma opens at Mount Tahoma High School on Tuesday, April 9. Throughout the next few years, the credit union plans to expand the program to five other schools across the district.

“For more than 70 years, Gesa has prioritized providing our local communities, especially young people, with programs that support education, financial literacy, and philanthropy. The impact we’ve been able to have on local schools through our Affinity Debit Cards and high school credit unions is a strong example of that,” said Brandon Allison, AVP of Training, Education and Community Relations at Gesa Credit Union. “We are honored to partner with Tacoma Public Schools to bring these beneficial programs to the district, so that more high school students can become better prepared for their future well before they graduate. This partnership not only benefits the students but also offers our members across western Washington new avenues to contribute positively to the places they call home.”

The Tacoma Public Schools Affinity Debit Card is the first card Gesa has launched in the Tacoma area that supports local schools in the community. Launched in 2015, to date the Affinity Debit Card Program has raised more than $1.34 million for local partner school districts and universities, awarding more than $340,000 in 2023 alone.

The co-branded Affinity Debit Cards are available exclusively at Gesa Credit Union and are free to Gesa members with a checking account. There is no fee for members to switch their card to any of the school designs. Anyone who lives, works, or worships in Washington is eligible to become a member and support their local schools.

“Our partnership with Gesa Credit Union to introduce the student Affinity Card is a big step forward in teaching our students how to handle money wisely, which is part of our commitment to preparing them for life enroute to and beyond the diploma,” said Adam Kulaas, Director of Innovative Learning & CTE at Tacoma Public Schools. “This effort, especially in alignment to our Jobs 253 programming, helps students learn by doing – managing their own money and understanding how to be financially responsible and independent.”

Posted in Top Headlines, Washington.