Educators Credit Union is working with Milwaukee Public Schools to give high school students an experience many haven’t had in school for years: driver’s education.
Through additional funding, MPS gives its students driver’s education through a program called MPS Drive. The program offers low-cost education and assistance so more students have the opportunity to get licensed.
“This program promotes three things: equity, workforce development and public safety,” said MPS Recreation Coordinator Annie McGinnity Kubes. “Our goal is that all of our MPS students are graduating with a diploma and a valid driver’s license. We know that employment outcomes are significantly higher when those two things are paired together.”
In its first two and a half years, MPS Drive helped more than 3,300 students. Nearly 97% of those students passed their temporary license examination.
“This shows that it’s something our young people are invested in and work hard for,” said Kubes.
Educators Credit Union reached out to the program after Vice President of Auto & Lease Donna Klug heard a news spot about the program.
“I was driving to work one day and heard a blurb about MPS getting a second year of funding for this driver’s education program,” said Klug. “It benefited inner city kids who couldn’t otherwise afford it, and I thought, ‘That’s something that Educators would definitely want to be a part of.’”
Educators Credit Union has since provided financial backing and gotten involved in the classroom. Employees from Educators Credit Union come to classes and teach students about the basics of car buying, the costs of owning a car, maintaining and building credit to help finance a car, and much more.
“Educators has been a tremendous champion of the program,” said Kubes. “They are really helping students understand the financial component that comes with having a license.”
It’s an important lesson that Educators Credit Union is passionate about supporting. It’s important to help provide an opportunity to these students that they haven’t had for the last decade.
“I just paid for driver’s education for my daughter, and it was $300,” said Klug. “If you have a family that can’t afford it, you don’t get the chance to learn these lessons. Who’s going to teach these students that lesson? It’s also an opportunity for that household. The kids can now get themselves to and from work and may be able to help their family get to work.”