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Olympic skateboarder helps spread the word on financial wellness in New Mexico

Mariah Duran skateboarding in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Jeremiah Arias
Mariah Duran skateboarding in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Hispanic and Latino youth have historically lower rates of bank account ownership and overall knowledge of financial well-being. A local credit union is trying to address that gap with a new location in Albuquerque’s South Valley and programs designed to make finances fun.

Less then 1% of New Mexico high school students are required to take even one semester of a personal finance class.

Alissia McAfee is the social media and events manager for U.S. Eagle Federal Credit Union. She says finances mean numbers, and those can be scary.

“Finances are a hard thing to talk about, it makes people nervous and we’re really trying to bridge that gap and make things easier,” said McAfee.

The credit union is partnering with Olympic skateboarder Mariah Duran to try and get youth engaged in financial wellness.

Duran will be showing off her moves at Rio Bravo Skate Park on Saturday April 27 where people can also check out food trucks and sign up for free financial literacy courses through U.S. Eagle. The credit union offers those online and in person. Its staff are also visiting schools to talk about personal finance.

“Not everyone has a parent or someone to teach them all these skills,and so where are you gonna learn?”said McAfee.

The South Valley “skate and food trucks fest” will include nonprofits Rio Grande Food Project and New Day Youth & Family Services. Attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable goods to donate.

Mia Casas is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in Journalism and Theatre at the University of New Mexico. She comes to KUNM through an internship with the New Mexico Local News Fund and is staying on as a student reporter as of fall 2023.
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