Friday, May 29, 2020
Local Watts Teacher Receives Kinecta Teaching Grant
By Kimberlee Buck, Contributing Writer
Published July 11, 2019

Kinecta Federal Credit Union 2019 “Scholarships and Teaching Grants for Growth” Recipients with Keith Sultemeier, President and CEO Kinecta Federal Credit Union; Mary Yasui-Yamabe, Chair, Board of Directors Kinecta Federal Credit Union and Bert Fallon, Board Chair Consumer Cooperative Society of Santa Monica (CCSSM) (coutesy photo)

Each year, Kinecta Federal Credit Union hosts its Youth Scholarships and Teaching Grants for Growth program to provide financial support for students seeking higher education and to assist teachers with classroom instruction and projects.

In 2017, Kinecta had a sweet vision to bring free ice cream to neighbors and community events in the South Bay area. To the delight of many, Kinecta’s custom-designed ice cream truck was introduced in Q3 of 2018 and began making its neighborhood rounds, donating $1 to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) each time a Kinecta member partook in a treat. In 2018, the Kinecta Ice Cream Truck attended 29 events and donated nearly $1,300 to CMNH. (courtesy photo)

After reviewing more than 200 submissions from prospective students and over 70 submissions from teachers, Kinecta awarded eight $2,000 scholarships to full-time students and six $2,000 grants to teachers during an award ceremony held at its El Segundo headquarters.

“We’ve been banking the South Bay for 80 years, so we have a vested interest in this community and its education. We want the best for our students and teachers,” said Kinecta Federal Credit Union manager of Community Engagement, Latrice McGlothin.

One of this year’s recipients was 99thStreet Elementary School kindergarten teacher Kindra Anderson who was inspired to apply for the grant by one of her students.

“One of my students told me, ‘Ms. Anderson, I want to build a paper airplane business because I want to buy new furniture for our classroom.’ Another student stated, ‘I want to start a shoulder massage business so that we can get new furniture for our classroom, then our classroom would be the most beautiful,’” said Anderson.

Because of employee generosity during Kinecta’s Annual Professional Clothing Drive, Kinecta was able to collect and deliver more than 3,100 pieces of clothing, accessories and shoes. The items will help men, women and young adults in life crisis seeking to enter the workforce. (Courtesy photo)

After hearing the students thoughts on the furniture in the classroom, Anderson decided to apply for the grant and as she says, “just go for it!”

Now that Anderson has received the grant from Kinecta, she will be able to purchase new desks for her classroom which will create a collaborative learning environment and allow students to easily share their ideas with one another.

“The desks we currently have, none of them are the same brand so it makes it harder to cluster them together because they were all different heights and lengths. I am just excited to have 30 of all of the same desks so that I can put the students in better learning groups,” she said.

Kinecta Federal Credit Union 2019 “Scholarships and Teaching Grants for Growth” Grant Recipient Teacher Kindra Noell Anderson, 99th Street Elementary, with Keith Sultemeier, President and CEO Kinecta Federal Credit Union and Mary Yasui-Yamabe, Chair, Board of Directors Kinecta Federal Credit Union. (courtesy photo)

Since the start of Kinecta’s Youth Scholarships and Teaching Grants for Growth program, the federal credit union has awarded more than $180,000 to 85 students and has assisted 14 teachers with purchasing supplies and funding classroom projects.

“Kinecta Federal Credit Union is dedicated to helping young adults reach their academic goals and teachers enhance their classroom offerings,” said McGlothin. “We realized that teachers were spending a lot of money out of pocket to do special events for their school. Some teachers [spend their own money] just to get basic supplies for kids that are needed for their classroom.”

The Kinecta Youth Scholarships and Teaching Grants for Growth program is just one of the many ways the credit union has been making an impact in the community and with Kinecta’s 80 year anniversary vastly approaching, the company plans to continue its philanthropic efforts.

Kinecta loves to help its members succeed and offers engaging classes on credit, increasing savings, understanding taxes, and other personal finance topics. In addition, Kinecta provides “Bite of Reality” simulations for high school students, helping them grasp the responsibilities of adulthood, bills, and budgeting. In 2018, Kinecta facilitated 13 financial empowerment sessions for nearly 900 participants (courtesy photo).

Recently Kinecta launched a program called #KinectaKindness awards where the credit union recognizes acts of kindness by those throughout the community. Other community events include Kinecta’s annual Professional Clothing Drive and the Kinecta free ice cream truck which was custom designed to increase consumer awareness in local neighborhoods. Since the creation of the ice cream truck in 2018, Kinecta has been able to donate nearly $1,300 to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

“As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, we consider it both a privilege and an obligation to give back to the communities where our members and employees live and work. In 2018, Team Kinecta volunteered more than 7,500 hours at over 150 community events, providing essential resources to roughly 200 local non-profits. Additionally, Kinecta and its members raised more than $435,000 to support community charities,” said Kinecta in a statement.

For more information on the Kinecta Youth Scholarships and Teaching Grants for Growth program and #KinectaKindness please visit

Categories: Education | Family | News
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