Shoot for the Stars

Local soccer-playing teen strives to help others build financial independence.

Cameron Dunbar (center) and his family

For 80 years, Kinecta Federal Credit Union has provided financial products and services to the South Bay and communities throughout Southern California. In 1940 engineers at Hughes Aircraft—the aviation company formed by multimillionaire Howard Hughes—decided to open a credit union right in the plant. In 2001 Hughes Federal Credit Union was renamed Kinecta.

As a not-for-profit, Kinecta invests in its members and community. Unlike banks that earn profits for their shareholders, credit unions reinvest their revenue to offer better rates for members. Since members are also owners, they receive benefits like discounts on products, services and entertainment.

“This partnership is a fun way to learn about the importance of financial independence.”

Last year, employees of Kinecta and its subsidiaries volunteered more than 4,560 hours, raised more than $634,000 in donations, provided $27,000 in scholarships to students and teachers, and participated in more than 160 community events—many of which focused on education.

South Bay native Cameron Dunbar, an 18-year-old soccer player for the LA Galaxy, wanted to give back to the community in a way that meant something to him personally: encouraging financial education. He took his ideas to the community team at his credit union, Kinecta, where he brainstormed ways to make a positive impact. Kinecta believes deeply in the type of outreach Cameron wanted to provide, so in short order the Cameron Challenge was born.

We spent some time with this exceptional young man to find out about his life and his new financial education program.

Hi, tell us a little about yourself.

Cameron Dunbar: I am an older brother to two siblings. I like to travel with my family. We enjoy watching and playing soccer and training together. Every night we sit down for dinner and have long conversations about our days and our dreams.

How did you start playing the game?

CD: I have always been very active, and I love sports. My parents introduced me to a different sport each season: basketball, baseball and soccer. I loved to run, and soccer provided a lot of running. It became my favorite.

Why is it important to GIVE back?

CD: Community involvement is something I have always felt strongly about. I have benefited from the sacrifice and achievements of my family, my teachers, my coaches and my community. I have learned from their struggles, dedication and examples. I hope to help share my own experiences to continue to inspire others and lead them to build stronger, more informed and engaged communities.

Why did you choose Kinecta as your financial institution?

CD: My parents have been members for years. Kinecta came to my high school and provided a financial education program that taught the importance of thinking about my financial future. I learned that I didn’t understand a lot about finances and money and wanted to learn more. I became a member to gain the support and information I needed.

Describe the Cameron Challenge.

CD: The Cameron Challenge is a 60-day financial empowerment program—60 days because 60 is my number with the LA Galaxy. This partnership is a fun way to learn about the importance of financial independence. I am learning these tools now, and I want to use my platform with the LA Galaxy to have others learn with me. There are educational programs to complete, and the first 60 students who finish those can earn $60 toward their savings goals!

We look forward to seeing the impact your program has on our community’s youth. One last question: What makes you a good role model for others to follow?

CD: I work hard. I know I’m only 18 and I’m just starting out in my soccer career and in my life, but I believe that I can show others how hard work, dedication, humility and giving back will pay off both professionally and personally.

Kinecta Federal Credit Union

1440 Rosecrans Ave., Manhattan Beach  |  800-854-9846  | 

Kinecta is federally insured by the NCUA. ©Kinecta Federal Credit Union 2021.
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