Partners in Exploration: Learning Banking with Salal Credit Union

At Juma, it starts with a job—but in addition to earning a paycheck, youth also connect to resources and people who can aid them on their career journeys. With the help of partners like Salal Credit Union, Juma youth explore future careers in hands-on settings and meet real people working in industries they might one day want to join. This year, Bamluka–who goes by ‘Bam’–a Juma youth from Seattle, became the first graduate of Salal Academy–a 4-week immersive job training program centered on the banking industry.

At Salal Academy, Bam learned about the banking industry’s products and services. From systems to customer service, he got a firsthand look at what it takes to keep a local bank branch running. The program consisted of classroom learning and online activities as well as observing at an actual local banking branch where Bam had the chance to ask questions and get a feel for the real day-to-day banking career experience.

“The Salal Academy provided me with a fantastic introduction and foundation to the banking industry,” Bam said of his experience. “I also learned soft skills like how to work with customers/members, how to create a resume, and how to prepare for a job interview. Everything I learned will benefit me in the future. I highly recommend it.”

And Salal isn’t Juma’s only partner in crafting opportunity; program coordinators from each Juma site work to find ways to explore the interests of individual Juma youth, centered in our value of Youth First. From finance to technology, design to business, Juma staff seek out pathways for Juma youth to deepen their understanding of in-demand industries, while recognizing they are at a critical point in their lives where that very exploration is so important.

“It has been a pleasure partnering with individuals and organizations who are dedicated to curating learning experiences for local young people,” says Christine Nguyen, Juma Seattle Program Coordinator. “These opportunities reach them at a crucial age where taking a chance can turn into knowledge that will last a lifetime. We are always looking for more organizations to partner with us in creating these opportunities for our youth.”

In addition to intensive programs like Salal Academy, Juma youth also can participate in activities like JumaEXPLORES career tours, in which young people tour a local business, JumaINSPIRES career panels, where youth can learn about careers from a panel of professionals from a given industry, and JumaLINK, a networking event in which young people can meet with professionals from a variety of industries and practice networking and communication.

If you or your employer are interested in partnering with Juma on a career tour or panel, or in hiring Juma’s young people and accessing a diverse pool of talented and motivated youth, contact Lucia Fernandez-Palacios, Executive Director of Corporate Partnerships and Marketing, via