First Financial Foundation Announces Winners of 2014 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship

Press Release

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(L to R): 2014 scholarship winners Kimberly Rogers, Demonica Britt, Michael Perry, President/CEO Issa Stephan, and Carly Burrus.

WALL, N.J. – The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation (www.firstffcu.com) recently awarded $500 scholarships to four deserving undergraduate students.

This year’s winners included: Kimberly Rogers of Ocean Township, Georgian Court University; Demonica Britt of Freehold, Seton Hall University; Michael Perry of Freehold, Boston College; and Carly Burrus of Neptune, Coastal Carolina University.

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Pictured above: 2014 scholarship winner Kimberly Rogers with Issa Stephan and her parents.

This year, there was one scholarship topic for student applicants to respond to: In today’s world, identity theft, building credit and maintaining good credit are essential elements in our financial lives.  How will you address these essential financial elements during your college years, and how will you guide your friends and family to address the above elements?  Your response should include details about how to protect yourself and what others should do to protect themselves from ID theft, as well as how you plan to build credit and maintain credit for your financial future.

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Pictured above: 2014 scholarship winner Demonica Britt with Issa Stephan and her daughters.

Applicants submitted a written essay or video clip to answer the question, and had to be a member of the credit union by 12/31/13 and about to attend for fall 2014 or currently attending a 2 or 4 year college anywhere in the country.

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Pictured above: 2014 scholarship winner Michael Perry with Issa Stephan and his parents and grandmother.

“We are thrilled to be able to aid these admirable and bright students in their journey of success and education,” said First Financial President and CEO, Issa Stephan.  “Our credit union puts a high priority on education, after all – that’s how First Financial began 78 years ago, with a group of schoolteachers in Asbury Park.”

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Pictured above: 2014 scholarship winner Carly Burrus with Issa Stephan and her mother.

View more about this year’s scholarships and the First Financial Foundation on First Financial’s website.

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About the First Financial Foundation:

Since 1994, First Financial has supported the Monmouth & Ocean communities with the Erma Dorrer Scholarship Program. Today, that program has been extended into the First Financial Foundation to assist charitable organizations of the Monmouth & Ocean County Communities.  The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation is a non-profit working to support a variety of community programs and organizations throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  We direct 100% of your contributions to programs because all administrative expenses are paid for by First Financial Federal Credit Union.  To learn more, visit www.firstffcu.com.

First Financial Foundation 2014 Scholarship – Call for Entries

Happy group of students

This year, our non-profit organization — the First Financial Foundation – will be awarding (4) $500 scholarships to undergraduate students who apply on or before 11:59pm on June 30, 2014 for its Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

There is one scholarship topic this year, applicants will need to answer the following question to qualify:

In today’s world, Identity Theft, Building Credit and Maintain Good Credit are essential elements in our financial lives.  How will you address these essential financial elements during your college years, and how will you guide your friends and family to address the above elements?  Your response should include details about how to protect yourself and what others should do to protect themselves from ID Theft, as well as how you plan to build credit and maintain credit for your financial future.

Applicants can submit either a written essay or video clip to answer the question.  Video clips should be recorded and uploaded to YouTube prior to applying. Creativity is encouraged! Essay or video should include your ideas for identity theft protection, and building and maintaining good credit and why these elements are important.

To qualify:

  • The scholarships will be awarded to First Financial members (as of December 31, 2013) who will attend (Fall 2014 Semester) or are currently attending a 2 or 4 year college anywhere within the country.
  • There are no age restrictions to apply – however this scholarship program is open to undergraduate students only, and trade or technical school students will not qualify.
  • A valid copy of either a college acceptance letter, student schedule, or registration confirmation must accompany all applications.

Winners will be announced by July 21, 2014.

Click here to view the 2014 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship Terms and Conditions.

*To apply, please email the essay or the link to your video to the First Financial Foundation at foundation@firstffcu.com, or you may send a printed copy of your essay, CD or flash drive (these will not be returned to you), and supporting documentation to the First Financial Foundation at PO Box 1172, Toms River NJ 08754.  Please be sure to list your contact information on your entry including your full name, address, phone, email, membership number and date of membership, where you are currently or will be attending college in the Fall 2014 Semester, any volunteer work you participate in, and a valid copy of either a college acceptance letter, student schedule, or registration confirmation to a 2 or 4 year college. 

First Financial Foundation Receives 2013 Social Responsibility Award for Classroom Grants

Press Release

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Pictured above from First Financial Federal Credit Union’s Foundation Committee – L to R: Megan Shull (Business Development Officer), Issa Stephan (President/CEO), Greg Michlig (NJ Credit Union League President/CEO), Jessica Revoir (Marketing Manager), Helga Britton (VP of Human Resources), Angel Capalbo (Quality Assurance Specialist), and Graham Stevens (Dealer Relationship Director).

The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation was selected by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) through the New Jersey Credit Union League’s 2013 award program (NJCUL) as the recipient of the 2013 Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Awareness Award.

The credit union’s Foundation was awarded for its classroom grants for local educators. In the fall of 2012, the First Financial Foundation asked Monmouth and Ocean County educators to apply for the classroom grants to use at their schools. The First Financial Foundation awarded four (4) $500 classroom grants during the 2012-2013 school year. These grants were implemented to help the children of the credit union’s surrounding communities. With several school budget cuts in the area, many school districts could not afford the additional tools that were needed to help aid in their students’ success, and that is where the First Financial Foundation felt they needed to provide assistance.

Since First Financial began with a group of Asbury Park schoolteachers back in 1936, the credit union has not forgotten its educational roots. “Education remains a guiding principal for our organization, and we were delighted to help our local educators enhance their classroom experience,” noted First Financial President & CEO, Issa Stephan.

The annual NJCUL award competition is separated in two different categories, state league awards and national CUNA awards.  The Dora Maxwell Award is a CUNA award, and is judged by CUNA and is based on credit unions and their philosophy of “people helping people.”

To learn more about the First Financial Foundation’s classroom grants and see the four recipients, visit First Financial’s blog at Http://blog.firstffcu.com .

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About the First Financial Foundation:

Since 1994, First Financial has supported the Monmouth & Ocean communities with the Erma Dorrer Scholarship Program. Today, that program has been extended into the First Financial Foundation to assist charitable organizations of the Monmouth & Ocean County Communities.  The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation is a non-profit working to support a variety of community programs and organizations throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  We direct 100% of your contributions to programs because all administrative expenses are paid for by First Financial Federal Credit Union.  To learn more, visit www.firstfinancialfoundation.org .

First Financial Foundation Names Amanda Sayko of Howell Winner of 2013 Scholarship

Press Release

Amanda SaykoPictured Above: Amanda Sayko of Howell

The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation (www.firstfinancialfoundation.org) recently awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Amanda Sayko of Howell, who recently began her freshman year at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College – majoring in science. Sayko graduated from Howell High School in June 2013, with an impressive 4.4 GPA.

Three winners were chosen overall for the First Financial Foundation’s 2013 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

This year’s scholarship topic was:

Due to heavy competition in New Jersey with banks and financial institutions on every corner, how can First Financial bring in new credit union members? How can we differentiate ourselves and successfully carry out a membership drive within the community to recruit new members? Please answer the question as if you were a First Financial executive – what would you do to educate the local community about the benefits of a credit union membership?

Applicants submitted a written essay or video clip to answer the question, and had to be a member of the credit union by 12/31/12 and about to attend for fall 2013 – or currently attending a 2 or 4 year college anywhere in the country.

Sayko submitted an essay explaining why reaching out to the public would help First Financial bring in new members, and in her essay she stated, “People need to feel a connection with the everyday people they trust their money with. They need to ask questions and talk to their bankers face to face.  That is one of the things I like about First Financial. When I go in to deposit my paycheck I talk to the same people every time. They are friendly and personable employees who actually know who I am.  You don’t get that feeling at a larger financial institution.” Later she added, “To me, personal relationships are the key factor when it comes to trusting people with your money.  For the current generations, large banks have lost the trust of the general public, and First Financial should emphasize how credit unions are trustworthy and a not for profit entity; separating it from its competitors.”

“We are thrilled to be able to aid these admirable and bright young students in their journey of success and education,” said First Financial President and CEO, Issa Stephan.  “Our credit union puts a high priority on education, after all – that’s how First Financial began 77 years ago, with a group of schoolteachers in Asbury Park.”

First Financial Foundation Names Kevin Rogers of Ocean Township Winner of 2013 Scholarship

Press Release:

Kevin Rogers

The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation (www.firstfinancialfoundation.org) recently awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Kevin Rogers of Ocean Township, who is currently attending the School of Criminal Justice and Public Administration at Kean University in Union, NJ.

Three winners were chosen overall for the First Financial Foundation’s 2013 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

This year’s scholarship topic was:

Due to heavy competition in New Jersey with banks and financial institutions on every corner, how can First Financial bring in new credit union members? How can we differentiate ourselves and successfully carry out a membership drive within the community to recruit new members? Please answer the question as if you were a First Financial executive – what would you do to educate the local community about the benefits of a credit union membership?

Applicants submitted a written essay or video clip to answer the question, and had to be a member of the credit union by 12/31/12 and about to attend for fall 2013 – or currently attending a 2 or 4 year college anywhere in the country.

Rogers submitted an essay explaining why First Financial should focus new membership on high school and college students. In his essay he stated, “Although most students generally have not yet achieved the type of financial stability it takes to be able to make large deposits, the contributions that they can make should be of particular interest to a credit union. The reason is that many high school students are interested in having part-time jobs during the school year as well as in the summer, and the schools are already educating them on how to effectively handle their own finances. Financial literacy studies are required for graduation in most high schools and for college students who are pursuing disciplines involving business administration with concentrations in finance and/or economics. In addition, bringing students into the credit union will introduce them to all First Financial has to offer – while financially educating and setting them up with various financial products for every stage of their future.”

“We are thrilled to be able to aid these admirable and bright young students in their journey of success and education,” said First Financial President and CEO, Issa Stephan.  “Our credit union puts a high priority on education, after all – that’s how First Financial began 77 years ago, with a group of schoolteachers in Asbury Park.”

First Financial Foundation Names Christen Corrado of Freehold Winner of 2013 Scholarship

Press Release:

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L to R: First Financial President/CEO, Issa Stephan with 2013 scholarship winner, Christen Corrado

The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation (www.firstfinancialfoundation.org) recently awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Christen Corrado of Freehold, who is currently attending Rowan University’s School of Engineering, studying electrical and computer engineering.

Three winners were chosen overall for the First Financial Foundation’s 2013 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

This year’s scholarship topic was:

Due to heavy competition in New Jersey with banks and financial institutions on every corner, how can First Financial bring in new credit union members? How can we differentiate ourselves and successfully carry out a membership drive within the community to recruit new members? Please answer the question as if you were a First Financial executive – what would you do to educate the local community about the benefits of a credit union membership?

Applicants submitted a written essay or video clip to answer the question, and had to be a member of the credit union by 12/31/12 and about to attend for fall 2013 – or currently attending a 2 or 4 year college anywhere in the country.

Corrado submitted a very creative, professional essay, featuring her own headshot explaining three different ways First Financial could bring in new members – and how new members could benefit from credit union membership at First Financial in the same way she had growing up. In her essay she stated, “First Financial can bring in new credit union members and educate the local community by advertising to emerging high school graduates and their parents, offering rewards and discounts to new and existing members, and sponsoring local events.”

“We are thrilled to be able to aid these admirable and bright young students in their journey of success and education,” said First Financial President and CEO, Issa Stephan.  “Our credit union puts a high priority on education, after all – that’s how First Financial began 77 years ago, with a group of schoolteachers in Asbury Park.”