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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Starkweather Academy in Plymouth Benefits From $1,000 Summer of Sharing Grant and Student-Run Credit Union

PLYMOUTH, Mich. – When Starkweather Academy in Plymouth was looking to jumpstart a music program at its alternative high school last year, Community Financial Credit Union was there to help the school afford musical instruments and a PA system.

Now for the second consecutive year, Starkweather is one of the recipients of a $1,000 grant as part of Community Financial’s $60,000 Summer of Sharing donation to organizations across southeastern and northern Michigan. This year that money received by the academy will be used to buy around 100 new books for young adults, that Starkweather teacher Emily Szachta says will help encourage its students to continue good reading habits.

“We started our musical program from nothing and this year we identified the need to get some new contemporary books for our students,” Szachta said. “We now have a full pop music band, and I am really looking forward to going on a shopping spree so that our students aren’t just reading books that were written long before they were born.”

Starkweather Alternative High School promotes lifelong learning by offering a comprehensive educational program addressing individual educational goals and preparing all students to achieve personal excellence and become successful contributing members of society. Its roughly 200 students come primarily from the Plymouth Canton and Livonia school districts, but others from as far away as Detroit.

Starkweather has also been involved in Community Financial’s student-run credit union for the last three years, and Szachta says that there are always a handful of students that stay very active in the credit union program each year.

“It’s good for them to be able to learn financial literacy where the bank comes to them,” Szachta said.

Getting community support can sometimes be hard for Starkweather because the school is not as visible as the more traditional high schools in the area, Szachta said. As a result, having community partners like Community Financial Credit Union is critical to the school’s success.

“We’re big into school pride here and trying to help our students gain confidence in them,” Szachta said. “We couldn’t afford to provide our students with new supplies without the help of organizations like Community Financial that are investing in the future of our cities.”

Community Financial has donated more than $180,000 through its Summer of Sharing program since 2011.

About Community Financial Credit Union 
Headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, membership in Community Financial Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in 23 Michigan counties. With more than 50,000 members, Community Financial provides financial services to members at eleven branch locations and through a variety of automated and online services. For more complete membership information, visit or call (877) 937-2328.

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