Golden 1 Credit Union Awards $1.5 Million to 37 California Nonprofits in Restructured Community Grant Program

January 9, 2024, Sacramento, CA

Updated biennial program includes Sacramento and Central Valley nonprofit recipients that support youth in education, careers, and entrepreneurship

Golden 1 Credit Union (Golden 1) is pleased to announce 37 nonprofits in California are recipients of its recently updated multi-year Community Grant Program. The revised biennial program will award $1.5 million in grants over a two-year period to selected nonprofits in the Sacramento and Central Valleys that support educational attainment, access to career pathways, and entrepreneurship for youth and young adults.

“Golden 1 is dedicated to being an inclusive and caring partner and our restructured Community Grant Program has enabled us to continue enhancing the financial well-being of underserved populations,” said Erica Taylor, Vice President of Communications and Community Relations. “The nonprofits that received grants play an integral role in strengthening the diverse communities we serve and will continue to help create brighter futures for generations to come.”

Golden 1’s restructured program focused on investing in youth academic success, career development, and other meaningful employment is based on key research that demonstrates these types of initiatives lead to better adult financial outcomes. This results in healthier, more financially well communities as well as financial certainty for the nonprofit organizations. Applicants were evaluated based on their alignment with Golden 1’s vision to enhance the financial well-being of Californians and their diverse communities, the engagement of their leadership and board, a clear vision for the future, and a realistic pathway for achieving that vision.

“It’s an honor for Golden 1 to help further the missions of these 37 organizations and we look forward to seeing the important work they do to support the Sacramento and Central Valleys,” added Taylor.

The new multi-year grant structure will award up to $60,000 per year to the selected nonprofits for programs operating from November 2023 through October 2025. Grant awardees include Junior Achievement of Sacramento and the Del Paso Heights Growers’ Alliance in the Sacramento Valley. Plus, Adventure Risk Challenge in the Central Valley.

The Del Paso Heights Growers' Alliance is a grassroots organization advocating for social, environmental, and economic justice in Del Paso Heights. This includes improving social determinants of health by establishing community gardens to provide fresh, seasonal produce for the neighborhood. Golden 1’s grant will be used to restore the nonprofits’ current gardens and hire the organization’s first part-time employee.

“We are a small, community-driven organization that relies on volunteer and community support,” said Fatima Malik, Lead Organizer for the Del Paso Heights Growers’ Alliance. “This grant will allow us to continue to serve our community by providing fresh produce as well as opportunities for entrepreneurship and exposure to agricultural careers.”

Junior Achievement of Sacramento focuses on helping young people connect what they are learning in the classroom to the real world. This includes lessons in financial literacy, work and career readiness, and entrepreneurship. Golden 1’s funds will be used to expand the program and connect with more underserved communities.

“Being awarded Golden 1 Credit Union’s Community Grant is not just a financial boost, it's an embrace of our mission to empower and prepare young individuals for the workforce and beyond,” said Susan Nelson, President of Junior Achievement of Sacramento. “Together, we pave the way for a brighter, more empowered future by cultivating the leaders of tomorrow."

Adventure Risk Challenge is an immersive program that integrates literacy development with outdoor education experiences. Students average 500 hours of structured programming to develop healthy communication skills and leadership qualities that help them succeed academically. The organization will use Golden 1’s grant funding to establish a program in Firebaugh.

“Our mission is to help as many students as deeply as possible grow their voice and find a sense of belonging amongst their peers,” said Sarah Cupery Ottley, Executive Director of Adventure Risk Challenge. “Thanks to this multi-year grant from Golden 1 Credit Union, we will be able to grow our program and provide more opportunities to underserved youth in the Central Valley.”

Since its inception in 2013, Golden 1’s Community Grant Program has awarded nearly $6 million in funding to nonprofits in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys. For a full list of recently awarded nonprofits, visit

With more than $20 billion in assets, Golden 1 Credit Union is one of the largest credit unions in the United States, providing easy access to the financial solutions, resources, and support their members and communities need to improve their well-being. Golden 1 is committed to creating a more equitable and financially inclusive California and proudly serves all those who live or work there. Golden 1 is more than 1.1 million members strong and has over 2,000 employees. Visit for more information.