A Case Study of Keesler Federal Credit Union

Conducted on November 15, 2014 in Biloxi, Mississippi

Keesler Headquarters, located in Biloxi, Mississippi

Facing The Unexpected

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina blasted through southern Mississippi. The storm claimed 235 lives and caused over $125 billion in damage to the state. The majority of the population was left with nothing and the economy consequently tanked. Survivors lost their homes, jobs — and for some — loved ones. Going forward, however, the storm altered an entire generation’s sense of financial stability — for themselves, and their children.

Today, Mississippi is back on its feet and rebuilding its communities. State educators and parents now seek opportunities and resources to help the younger generation secure a more stable financial future.


The Relief Effort

Keesler Federal Credit Union has stepped forward to provide crucial first aid to students throughout Mississippi. Its financial education mission: to guarantee the financial wellness and success of young adults in their service areas. One important way Keesler Federal Credit Union is fulfilling this mission is by helping local students become better stewards of their money. It has offered time, money, industry experience, and a variety of credit union resources to help Mississippi schools teach personal finance in the classroom.

Harrison Central High School

“We want to help the schools meet their unfunded mandate to teach personal finance in the classroom.”
Terri Gonzalez

Pledging Aid

In the last three years, Keesler Federal Credit Union has developed learning resources and participated in classroom instruction for over 30,000 students across Mississippi. It is proud to provide whatever is necessary to ensure students have better opportunities financially than preceding generations.

How did Keesler Federal do it? In 2012, they partnered with Banzai, an award winning financial literacy platform with over 14,000 teachers in all 50 states. The program is funded by local banks and credit unions who are interested in providing desperately needed financial literacy to youth in its area. Keesler Federal Credit Union provides the Banzai software and booklets containing financial scenarios for students to study and work through at no cost for local schools.

“Banzai is a fresh idea: meaningful content using real-life scenarios that engages teenagers and doesn’t cost a dime. It helps students see life through an adult’s eyes and exposes them to real-life adult financial dilemmas. Whether it’s navigating taxes or paying auto insurance, Banzai introduces students to the real world.” Keesler Federal Credit Union Website

Keesler Federal Credit Union is teaching Mississippi students to better manage their hard earned money and equip them for happy futures fortified from unforeseen catastrophes like Hurricane Katrina.


Rebuilding Their Financial Future

Banzai is a world-class software platform designed to introduce students to adult dilemmas such as managing debt, reconciling bank statements, balancing budgets, and making tradeoffs. The program features real life simulations to illustrate the concepts in a fun and impactful way. Keesler Federal Credit Union’s partnership with Banzai has helped Mississippi teach youth the value of a dollar.

“Once a teacher signs up to be involved in the Banzai program, we can now reach out to the classroom students, their parents, teachers and other faculty at the school. One classroom of 30, can lead to educating thousands.”

Terri Gonzalez




Keesler provides additional incentives for students including:

  • Guest speakers, interactive games and prizes.
  • Invitations to train as tellers, to earn scholarships and future job placements.
  • Fun parties and great rewards for the Banzai graduates.

Looking Forward

The people of Mississippi continue to feel the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Keesler Federal gets it. They recognize storms are yet to come, and are committed to providing its youth the education necessary to navigate those storms.