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1st Financial FCU Helps Students Continue Their Education

As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), 1st Financial Federal Credit Union (Wentzville, MO) is dedicated to serving its community with education, job training, and sustainable housing resources. Recently, the credit union rewarded several students for their commitment to learning and continuing their education. 

Aspire Academy Writing Contest Winners

1st Financial partnered with the Aspire Academy to celebrate students who won a writing contest. Students were asked to write an essay for Vinita Clark, the communication arts teacher at Aspire Academy, using the following prompt: “What would you attempt to do if you knew it was impossible to fail?”

“Writing gives the students an opportunity to discover their own voice," says Ms. Clark. "Using essay writing competitions provides me an opportunity to help students work through their individual trauma."  

The winning students were chauffeured in a 2015 Mercedes Party bus to Racanelli’s Pizza and to Forest Park. Students had the chance to discuss their aspirations with Ms. Clark.

“We believe education is maybe the most important first step in achieving financial sustainability," says  Carol Minges, CEO of 1st Financial Federal Credit Union. " I am elated there are teachers, like Ms. Clark, impacting and influencing her students each and every day.”

College Scholarship Recipients  

For 17 years, 1st Financial has awarded college scholarships to students who have an exceptional academic history and evidence of a strong presence in his or her school and community. The applicants are also asked to write a short essay concerning how credit unions affect the communities they serve.

Katie Kotlarczyk and Jasmine Lowery were each awarded a $1,000 scholarship this year. Katie will attend the Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville to finish her degree in biology. Jasmine will attend Missouri Western State University, where she will work towards earning her degree in social work. 

“We are so honored to be helping these exceptional students with the next step of their journey,” says Minges. "We believe education is maybe the most important first step in achieving financial sustainability. We are dedicated to helping our members and their children find success in education from kindergarten to college. Our scholarship program is just one piece of that huge puzzle.” 

In addition, 1st Financial Federal partnered with District 837 Machinist Union to create a new scholarship opportunity. District 837 is the union from which 1st Financial was founded in 1968. The Human Rights Committee, along with District 837 and 1st Financial, selected two recipients and contributed to their college education. 1st Financial presented a check in the amount of $1,500.

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