WYCUP Awards 12 Scholarships to 2022 World Credit Union Conference

Attendees React to WYCUP Scholarship awards
Attendees React to WYCUP Scholarship awards
Erin Hancock runs Coop Boot Camp
Erin Hancock runs Coop Boot Camp

MADISON, Wis.—12 young credit union professionals from seven different countries each received a scholarship Tuesday that includes an all-expense paid trip to Glasgow, Scotland for the 2022 World Credit Union Conference.

The World Council Young Credit Union Professionals (WYCUP) program awarded its scholarships during the penultimate day of the 2021 Virtual World Credit Union Conference, which also featured three workshops for young professionals.

The 2021 WYCUP Scholarships were presented to:

  • Deborah Donnelly, BECU – USA
  • Guilherme Fernandes de Melo - Sicredi Paranapanema PR/SP – Brazil
  • Ana Goffredo - Sicredi Uniao PR/SP – Brazil
  • Christian Hartley – Keesler Federal Credit Union – USA
  • Ingrid Henríquez – FEDECACES – El Salvador
  • Melissa Leiva Montejo – ABACO – Peru
  • Kelly Lima – Sicredi Alta Noreste SP – Brazil
  • Rafael Lopes de Oliveira – Sicredi Paranapanema PR/SP – Brazil
  • Sara Maharajh – CCUA – Canada
  • Valentina Mirgalyautdinova - Consumer's Credit Cooperative "Kredit-Edimstvo" – Russia
  • Carolina Mussolini – Sicredi Rio Paraná PR/SP
  • Esther Rajadurai – COBA – Australia

“The world is a better place because of the work of these emerging leaders. They inspire us through their commitment to the cooperative model. Keep an eye out for them in the coming years as we work together to strengthen our global network and make financial cooperatives even more relevant to young people,” said Thom Belekevich, WYCUP Director.

The scholarship recipients were selected out of 75 nominees who applied from across the globe. The WYCUP Scholarship program is open to nominees who are 40 or younger, have made significant contributions to their credit union or financial cooperative system and have the potential to make a global credit union impact. The WYCUP program has awarded more than 100 scholarships since 2001.

You can watch a short video featuring all 12 recipients on the World Council YouTube channel.

YPs examine Credit Union Difference

The scholarships were awarded during the WYCUP Forum at WCUC 2021, which also featured hundreds of young credit union professionals participating in an interactive boot camp to help define their value propositions and build fluency in sharing their credit union work.

Erin Hancock, Program Manager for Education with the International Centre for Co-operative Management at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada, took the YPs on a deep dive into helping them understand what it means to be fluent in credit unions. That means getting comfortable about the credit union brand and deepening responses to the question, “what is the credit union difference?”

"We're there to serve member needs and aspirations, and not just financial aspirations, but social and cultural as well," said Hancock. "There's a lot there that I think that is quite unique about what we do—as a credit union and as a cooperative."

The WYCUP Forum also featured panel discussions with YP leaders discussing the global impact they are making through the program and what credit unions can do more of to increase their relevance with current and potential young members.

Still to come

The 2021 Virtual World Credit Union Conference concludes Wednesday with two more keynote presentations from:

  • Ayesha Khanna, Co-Founder and CEO of ADDO AI, an artificial intelligence (AI) solutions firm and incubator, and
  • Bonin Bough, Marketing Guru, Investor and Author, and Principal at Bonin Ventures (sponsored by Medallia). 

There are also three breakout periods scheduled, featuring multiple sessions with a range of topics. 

Follow daily conference activities and events on FacebookTwitter and Instagram with #WCUC2021.