When I was younger, I wanted to be a world changer. (I had only vague ideas of what I wanted to do with my life, so world changing still allowed me options but also conveyed the grandness of my dreams.)
As I aged, I realized changing the world was maybe a little too large of a goal; it would be too easy to not hit that mark. However, I still wanted my work to help improve people’s lives. I earned my degree in politics from Drake University, although my dream job was still not clear. After working a summer at an AmeriCorps program focused on poverty, and a congressional campaign, I was looking for a job that had no definite end date.
I happened upon my first job at a credit union. I took a job as a teller at IAA Credit Union with the plan to stick around until I found something better. That something better became the credit union movement.
Credit unions clicked for me because of the differences they are making every day for their members. Money and financial talk always bored me as a child. As an adult, I realize how important it is in people’s lives. Emotions, stress, and well-being are often tied to a financial situation. Opening a bank account for someone who was unbanked or helping a member consolidate debt may not be big or flashy, but can quite literally change someone’s world.
As soon as I was all in on credit unions, I did everything I could to get involved. In 2019, I attended an ICUL Capitol Hill Day event to help advocate for credit unions and their members, and I had the opportunity to CRASH the Iowa Credit Union Convention. Each of these experiences further ignited my passion for credit unions, and I knew I wanted to do more, so I applied to Crash the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).
I knew Crashing the GAC would combine my interest in politics, excitement for credit unions and great opportunities to network with other young professionals equally as excited about credit unions as I am - and it did not disappoint. Our reflection discussions turned into great conversations where we bounced ideas off each other and shared our challenges. We also heard from inspiring credit union industry speakers and visited with our legislators about the importance of credit unions and the issues facing them.
One of the lessons that I took home from Washington D.C. came from speaker Andy Janning, whose message was: aim small, miss small. Crashing the GAC was amazingly inspiring, making it easy to come up with big ideas and big changes to make, but it’s really the little things that add up over time that make the biggest difference, allowing credit union staff to change one member's world at a time.
Taylor Morris is a Member Service Consultant at Collins Community Credit Union. She graduated from Drake University in 2016 with a degree in politics. Taylor got her start in the credit union industry in her hometown of Bloomington, IL. She enjoys helping members work towards their financial goals and learning about how much financial services impact people’s lives.