SECU Members Provide $1 Million Challenge Grant for N.C. 4-H Learning Center

RALEIGH, N.C., July 28, 2011 – State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) members via the SECU Foundation are pleased to announce the presentation of a $1 million challenge grant for a new North Carolina 4-H Learning and Education Center.  The 8,400 square foot facility, to be named the SECU 4-H Learning Center, will be located in Richmond County, serving as an outstanding educational destination for all North Carolinians, including school groups, 4-H members and families, and the general public.
With nearly 500 attendees from all across North Carolina, SECU Foundation Executive Director Mark Twisdale presented the challenge grant to the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service Foundation at the State 4-H Congress dinner held on July 20th in Raleigh, N.C.  At the presentation, Mr. Twisdale noted, “It has been a pleasure to work with the partner groups affiliated with this project, and I am most impressed with the leadership demonstrated by the youth in directing a statewide convention.  This is what 4-H is all about!”

Aimed at making North Carolina, World and U.S. history come alive, the SECU 4-H Learning Center will provide N.C. youth with a state-of-the-art laboratory and outdoor learning stations to provide interactive experiences that will engage 4th and 8th grade social studies students year after year.  For those students who cannot make the trip, the Center will travel to them through teaching kits, exhibits and on-line curriculum experiences.  It is estimated that more than 40,000 youth and adults will be served annually at the Center, with additional school groups engaged through the travel program.

According to Dr. Marshall Stewart, Associate Director and Head of the Department of 4-H Youth Development and Family & Consumer Sciences at N.C. State, “The gift of $1,000,000 from members of State Employees’ Credit Union is a tremendous investment to help create the SECU 4-H Learning Center as a part of the North Carolina 4-H History and Learning Center at Millstone Camp near Ellerbe.  Just as SECU members have pledged their support to 4-H, we pledge that our members in all 100 counties will commit to the success of the SECU 4-H Learning Center.”

Shirley Bell, Chair of SECU Foundation’s Board stated, “SECU has partnered with the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service on many educational projects and this Foundation challenge grant is a great complement to those efforts.  The SECU 4-H Learning Center, located centrally in the Sandhills, will provide opportunities to educate youth and families from every North Carolina community and county in the State.  The permanent facility and statewide educational impact of this Center align perfectly with the goals of the member-funded SECU Foundation and we look forward to seeing this project come to fruition.”

About SECU and the SECU Foundation

SECU is a not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members. SECU has been providing the employees of the State of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for over 70 years. Currently serving nearly 1.7 million members, SECU provides services through 238 branch offices, nearly 1,100 ATMs, 24/7 call centers and a website, The SECU Foundation, a 501c (3) charitable organization funded solely by the contributions of SECU members, promotes local community development in North Carolina primarily through high impact projects in the areas of education, health and human services.