As we enter 2023, we’re looking forward and looking back. Our year-long 80th anniversary celebration is winding down and will culminate with a celebration at our Annual Meeting of Members this March. For eight decades, SESLOC has been a local, trusted financial institution. Our growth is a testament to what a small group of people can accomplish when they join together in a cooperative, not-for-profit endeavor. To sustain the momentum of the past year, we will commit to more nonprofit giving, upholding our new platform of sustainability, and of course, more member appreciation events to honor each of you.
In the first quarter, we are upgrading our Online Banking and SESLOC Mobile App. While the new system is packed with convenient features, the En Español version is one of significance. Making online banking more welcoming for Spanish speakers is just one of many improvements you’ll see in the coming year. I’m confident you’ll find our new online banking platform to be more flexible and robust, while maintaining the personal service at SESLOC.
It’s been just over a year since SESLOC returned to Cal Poly to serve the needs of the campus community. We’ve enjoyed banking over 400 student clubs, hosting an internship program, providing opportunities to help students gain financial independence post-graduation, cheering for the Mustangs at sporting events, and of course, greeting visitors in the new branch. I am pleased to announce that in the coming months, we are introducing an officially-licensed Cal Poly Visa® debit card for HomeFREE Checking™ accountholders. The new debit card will have all of the same benefits, including no monthly fee, no minimum balance requirement, reward points on purchases, Identify Theft services and mobile phone coverage, but with a striking Cal Poly Proud design. Whether you are a current student, alumnus or loyal fan, this card will earn bonus points on Cal Poly Ticket office purchases, plus access to other exclusive offerings are in the works. Cards will be available at any branch soon and may be instantly issued for use the same day.
In other academic news, we reached a new milestone in our Education Grants program, which provides funds to Central Coast K-12 schoolteachers to expand classroom resources. Since the program started a decade ago in 2013, we have surpassed more than $150,000 in grants. Recently, we supplied welding materials, books for Spanish speakers, and funds that allowed the Avila Bay Aquarium to provide hands-on experience with sea critters in the classroom.
Finally, now is a good time to build or increase your financial health. I invite you to take advantage of higher dividend rates for share, IRA and business certificates. We increased our deposit rates again in the last month, so now is a great time to start investing in term certificates, with both short- and long-term options available. Additionally, we have a fun product in our saving mix that you can enjoy. The Save to Win share certificate account allows you to earn dividends and have a chance to win cash prizes, all while building healthy savings habits. Visit sesloc.org or any branch to get yours today.
Thank you for your support and participation in this credit union. Best wishes to you and your families as we enter an exciting new year.