Harrison Federal Credit Union, which provides banking and financial services for employees, students and families of Harrison School District 2, announced on Nov. 2 that they’ve received Juntos Avanzamos designation.

Founded in 1957, Harrison FCU currently has more than 1,600 members in the D2 community.

Meaning “together we advance” in Spanish, Juntos Avanzamos credit unions are “committed to serving and empowering Hispanic communities,” according to the organization’s website.

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Founded in 1957, Harrison FCU currently has more than 1,600 members in the D2 community.

D2’s February 2020 Ethnicity Report showed 52.36% of all students in D2 are Hispanic, which makes Harrison FCU’s Juntos Avanzamos designation a significant achievement in serving their community.

“Juntos Avanzamos has become the standard for inclusion in banking for members of the Latinx community,” said Nick Jensen, CEO/CFO of Harrison FCU in a news release. “Joining the Juntos world is a big step for us, and we’re working to serve even more people with what we’ve learned by becoming Juntos Avanzamos-certified.”

Started in 2005 by the Cornerstone Credit Union League in Plano, Texas, Juntos Avanzamos has grown to include more than 70 credit unions in 20 states.

Fhilecya Moore, member engagement and experience officer at Harrison FCU, said that as part of the new designation, the credit union has translated most of its documents to Spanish, and has trained staff in bilingual communications to help members.

“So far,” she said, “the program has helped Harrison grow its membership and helped many new members get the cars, homes and loans they need to help keep Colorado Springs growing.”

Juntos Avanzamos’ website said, “Hispanic and immigrant consumers are a large and vibrant part of the U.S. economy, but many avoid financial institutions because they’ve had a bad experience in the past.”

Hispanic immigrant communities are also vulnerable to predatory lending practices. The Juntos Avanzamos designation means that Harrison FCU can be a trusted financial institution for that underserved community. 

According to Harrison FCU’s news release, “Many Harrison FCU members opened their first checking or savings accounts with us. Now we can hope to show even more people how a credit union can help them achieve their dreams. So far, Harrison has been able to provide additional service to 50 members thanks to the training involved with the Juntos Avanzamos designation.” 

Heidi Beedle is a former soldier, educator, activist, and animal welfare worker. She received a Bachelor’s in English from UCCS. She has worked as a freelance writer covering LGBTQ issues, nuclear disasters, cattle mutilations, and social movements.