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December 16, 2008 - The Richard Myles Johnson (RMJ) Foundation, the state foundation for credit unions in California and Nevada, recently gave out four grants totaling $138,850 for various youth financial literacy efforts. A Community Service grant of $100,000 went to Biz Kid$, while ByDesign Financial Solutions received $35,000.  Sacramento District Postal Employees Credit Union received a $3,000 grant and Travis Credit Union received $850.
The Biz Kid$ grant will go toward funding the third season of the program. The new season will begin airing January 6, 2009. Biz Kid$ is now airing on PBS stations in all 50 states, with 323 of the nation’s 343 PBS stations expected to carry the show in the new year. In addition to production of the television show, funding also supports the development of lesson plans that correspond with each episode.

ByDesign Financial Solutions was provided a grant of $35,000 to continue its partnerships with credit unions in presenting its Financial Firsts program to at-risk youth. This grant will allow the organization to teach 170 at-risk youth throughout California at workshops delivered in partnership with credit unions. Financial Firsts is a youth financial education program targeted to youth preparing to make their first independent financial and employment decisions. It covers topics such as first checking account, first job, first car purchase, first credit card account, first home-away-from home, and first college degree. ByDesign Financial Solutions is a non-profit organization based out of Los Angeles, with regional operations in Sacramento, Fresno, and Stockton.

The $3,000 grant to Sacramento District Postal Employees Credit Union will help the Sacramento, CA-based financial institution continue its quarterly Young Member Matters newsletter. The newsletter is distributed to youth through branches, mailings, and at weekly onsite visits at postal facilities. It features financial education using resources, such as the National Endowment for Financial Education.

The $850 Community Service grant awarded to Travis Credit Union will help the credit union in continuing its program to educate local high school students about the Cal Grant program, and how to budget for college. While the Vacaville, CA-based credit union covers the costs related to the program itself, the grant will help cover the costs of busing the students from Yolo County, a local farming community.

The Richard Myles Johnson Foundation, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is dedicated to providing community service grants to support credit union efforts in offering financial literacy education to young people. The Foundation also provides scholarships for credit union volunteers and staff to attend seminars and conferences to further their educational and professional development. It is funded through donations from credit unions, League chapters, corporations providing credit union services, and individuals. More information is available at