In the News

Wings Financial Credit Union Makes Award-Winning Financial Literacy Program Free for Local Classrooms

APPLE VALLEY, Minn. – Local students are getting a free education in how to manage their money thanks to Wings Financial Credit Union.

Originally posted on

In partnership with Banzai, Wings has agreed to a sponsorship that will make curriculum available to schools in portions of Dakota, Ramsey and Hennepin counties at no cost.

“Banzai is a web-based financial literacy program. Students get their own accounts, and work through assignments that are based on real life,” Morgan Vandagriff, co-founder of Banzai, said. “More than ever, it’s important that students develop sound financial skills to prepare them for the real world, and Wings realizes that and they’re doing something about it.”

“Education programs like Banzai work hand-in-hand with our mission to improve financial literacy in our local community,” said Trysh Olson, Financial Education and Youth Programs Manager at Wings, “Wings is proud to sponsor such a great program.”

Banzai is an interactive, online program supplemented by printed workbooks which aligns with state curriculum requirements for personal finance education. In 2010, the Institute for Financial Literacy awarded Banzai the Curriculum of the Year award. It has become the largest program of its kind, servicing more than 10,000 schools in all 50 states.

Students using the program are exposed to real-life scenarios where they learn to pay bills and balance a budget–but it’s not always easy. Students must learn to manage unexpected expenses such as parking tickets, interest charges and overdraft fees. The educational program also introduces students to auto loans, bank statements, entertainment costs, savings and more.

“Too often students get out of school and they just aren’t ready for the financial roller coasters life can give us,” Vandagriff said. “Banzai teaches students to navigate those twists and turns and come out on top.  We’re excited to work with Wings Financial Credit Union to improve financial literacy in Dakota County.”

About Wings Financial Credit Union

Wings Financial Credit Union is Minnesota’s largest credit union and one of the top 30 nationwide with over $3.9 billion in assets and more than 200,000 members. Wings members enjoy some of the area’s best savings and lending rates, convenient online and mobile access, the nation’s largest surcharge-free ATM network, as well as branch locations throughout the metro area for attentive personal service. Membership in Wings Financial is open to anyone who lives or works in the 13-county Twin Cities metro area. To learn more, visit

Teachers interested in using the Banzai program can visit or call 888-8-BANZAI.

Banzai interactive courses are fun and FREE. Go ahead.