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Celebrating Our InvestED Learners
At Desert Financial, we share success with our members and community — and we are passionate about sharing success with our team as well! We’re a local credit union that puts the needs and goals of others first, which is why we’re honored to be named one of Arizona’s Most Admired Companies by AZ Big Media and proud to be selected as a 2020 Best Places to Work honoree by Phoenix Business Journal!
Among all the ways we give back to employees, our continuing education opportunity with Arizona State University is one of our top workplace benefits. The Desert Financial InvestED program, in partnership with ASU, provides tuition coverage and financial assistance for team members who want to advance their education and career by earning an online undergraduate or graduate degree or graduate certificate. Desert Financial was founded by teachers, and we continue to honor our legacy and commitment to education by supporting the growth of our team!
Many took advantage of this amazing opportunity as soon as the program launched, becoming the first Desert Financial InvestED cohort. Our initial goal was to have at least 10 employees apply. But the response was swift and robust, and by August 2020, 91 students had enrolled for fall semester courses at ASU.
InvestED Learners Spotlight
Tea Myers, Social Media Specialist
Graduate Program: Digital Audience Strategy
Tea is originally from Albania and came to the U.S. to further her education. After earning her undergraduate degree at BYU-Idaho, she moved to Arizona where the self-professed “numbers girl” started her career at Desert Financial. She learned the ropes as a Teller and was promoted to Member Advocate, distinguishing herself during her tenure in the branch.
Tea has always loved social media and she recently joined the Marketing team as a Social Media Specialist! With her personal drive in high gear, she’s also thrilled to follow her dream of pursuing a master’s degree in digital audience strategy through the InvestED program.
“This is an amazing opportunity and shows us how much Desert Financial values employees. It’s a blessing!”
Greg Schaffran, Quality Analyst – Sales and Service
Undergraduate Programs: Business Administration and Physics
Greg Schaffran is a professional, family man and now, a returning student. He’s climbed the ranks at Desert Financial in just three years — first while working at the Member Experience Center and eBranch. He then moved on to the Bell/303 branch and has recently been promoted to Quality Analyst in Contact Center Operations. His future at Desert Financial is bright!
Prior to his impressive career, Greg had to leave college while studying engineering when he was 19 because a baby on the way meant he had to focus on earning a living.
Now five years later, he couldn’t pass up the chance to pursue his degree again through InvestED. He says he’s incredibly grateful for the opportunity to study both business administration and his passion, physics.
Juggling a job, family and school isn’t easy. But it makes us smile knowing that nothing stops Greg and his ambitions with his family at his side.
Greg represents grit — a top quality we value in our organization. He’s an amazing example of what it means to have personal drive, leading as a role model for his son and us here at Desert Financial!
Yadira Cerpa, Executive Assistant and Event Planner
Undergraduate Program: Psychology
Yadira’s favorite superhero is Wonder Woman, and it’s no wonder why. Yadira does it all — she’s a mother, a tenured executive assistant and event planner at Desert Financial, and she’s now taken on the role of returning student.
A seasoned employee who’s worked across many different departments spanning a 17-year career, Yadira landed her dream job a few years ago. She always wanted to work with the senior executive management team, and she relishes her fast-paced and diverse administrative role. She brought a treasure trove of knowledge and says she couldn’t have more supportive bosses. “They’re always encouraging me to grow.”
While Yadira is working on becoming a certified executive professional, she has always wanted to return to school and finish her degree in psychology. It was a good time in her life to take advantage of the InvestED program, as her two children are now older. For Yadira, it’s important to model for them how to be a lifelong learner.
“It’s a privilege,” Yadira says. “Not many companies offer this benefit, and because Desert Financial is invested in me as an employee, I want to prove myself even more.” Yadira plans to apply her sharpened skills (such as becoming a better writer) immediately and expand her knowledge base so she can perform at her best. Someday, Yadira may use her degree to help children and youth in a volunteer capacity. For now, she’s just forever grateful for this wonderful opportunity.
Our Team’s Success is Our Success
Tea, Greg and Yadira are only a few of our all-star team members who couldn’t pass up this opportunity. We wish them, and the rest of our InvestED students, the best throughout their exciting journey. We’re cheering for you!