First Financial Foundation – 2015 Call for Scholarship Entries

Happy group of studentsThis year, our non-profit organization the First Financial Foundation – will be awarding (4) $500 scholarships to high school seniors who apply on or before 11:59pm on July 3, 2015 for its Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship. The Foundation will begin accepting entries on Monday, June 8, 2015.

Based on membership feedback, the Foundation Committee has realigned this year’s scholarship requirements and all 4 scholarships will be given to high school seniors, who have been accepted to a 2 or 4 year college and will be attending in the Fall of 2015.

Applicants must answer the following two-part question to qualify (the questions can be answered via written essay or short YouTube video clip):

What is the best piece of financial advice you ever received and why? Who gave you the advice, and how are you using it currently or to shape your financial future?

Applicants can submit either a written essay or video clip to answer the question. Essays should be no longer than two pages, double spaced in 11 point font. Video clips should be recorded and uploaded to YouTube prior to applying, and no more than 2 minutes in length. Creativity is encouraged!

To qualify:

  • Two $500 scholarships will be awarded to two First Financial members (must be a member as of December 31, 2014) who will attend (Fall 2015 Semester) a 2 or 4 year college anywhere within the country.  The student must also be a graduating high school senior from the class of 2015. *Selected recipients of the scholarship will receive the scholarship via a deposit into their First Financial account. No printed checks will be awarded.
  • Two additional $500 scholarships will be awarded to two graduating high school seniors from within the Freehold Regional High School District (Howell, Freehold Township, Freehold Boro, Colts Neck, Manalapan, or Marlboro High School), who will attend (Fall 2015 Semester) a 2 or 4 year college anywhere within the country.  The student must also be a graduating high school senior from the class of 2015. *The student does not have to be a First Financial member to apply for the scholarship, however in order to receive the $500 scholarship – the student will need to open a First Financial membership and should they be selected as a recipient of the scholarship, it will be directly deposited into their First Financial account only. No printed checks will be awarded.
  • Students accepted to trade or technical schools will not qualify for this scholarship.
  • A valid copy of either a college acceptance letter, student schedule, or registration confirmation must accompany all applications.

Winners will be announced and notified via email by 5pm on July 24, 2015.

Deadline for entry submission is 11:59pm on Friday, July 3rd.

*To apply, please email the essay or the link to your YouTube video to the First Financial Foundation at foundation@firstffcu.com, or you may send a printed copy of your essay 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, name & location of high school you graduated from in 2015, membership number and date of membership (if applicable), where you will be attending college in the Fall 2015 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. 

**Children or relatives of First Financial employees or members of the Board of Directors, or those living within the same household as a First Financial employee or Board Member – are not eligible to apply for the Erma Dorrer Scholarship.

Good Luck!

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.

Classroom Grant Winner Sincerely Thanks First Financial Foundation

Back in December 2012 we announced four $500 classroom grant winners for the 2012-2013 school year awarded by the First Financial Foundation. Brick Educational Enrichment Center Teacher Sally Flannery, a resident of Wall, NJ, was ecstatic when we surprised her with a $500 grant to help fund her classroom needs.

Ms. Flannery submitted her grant application in order to purchase drop-proof iPad cases to protect the devices she uses to teach preschool children with special needs.

“The iPad is single handedly helping our children access a world they’ve never had access to before,” said Flannery. ”However, there’s one tiny, little glitch. Preschoolers drop things. Often, children on the autistic spectrum and children with behavior disorders throw things, and they are not able to differentiate between the cost of a stuffed dinosaur and a $500 iPad. The drop-proof cases will help protect our equipment and ensure our children have access to the world at their fingertips.”

Brick EEC Grant Money Put to Use

Pictured above: Sally Flannery (far right) along with the other teachers of Brick Educational Enrichment Center.

Recently, Ms. Flannery contacted us with a sincere testimonial, “Recently, a student accidentally dropped one of the iPads.  If it didn’t have the protective case the First Financial Foundation funded, it would have been ruined. This was the first accident, and I’m sure they’ll be many more to come. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and from all of us at the Educational Enrichment Center.”

Knowing that the small things we do can help make a difference in someone’s life is the foundation we built our institution on and we will continue to build upon this value to help and support our surrounding communities.

First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to Environmental Science Teacher of Central Regional HS

Bayville, NJ — Central Regional H.S. Environmental Science Teacher Jen Haines, a resident of Waretown, NJ, was very excited when she received a surprise visit to her classroom by First Financial President & CEO, Issa Stephan, who brought her a $500 classroom grant for the 2012-2013 school year.

Ms. Haines’ supervisor, Louise Pesci, submitted a grant application on her behalf to support Haines’ ongoing efforts to conduct hands on, environmental projects that excite the students and promote transferable learning.

Pesci wrote in to the First Financial Foundation, “Ten years ago, our seventh-grade science students took part in a rain basin project, which since that time, has filtered out pollutants to the ground water and stopped non-point source pollutants from entering into our two on site storm basins. These basins empty out into the Barnegat Bay and have continued to recharge the waters entering these drains to keep our waters safe.  Students from the four classes who worked and learned about saving their environment still come back to see their handiwork, some with their own children.”

The grant money will allow Haines to expand the project to two new troubled areas on the school campus.  One area is a constantly eroding hill, and the two others are wet lands areas in front of a small storm-basin and a low lying area of land.

The grant will allow for the purchase of shovels, wet-lands plants, up-land plants and enough mulch for both project areas.  It will also allow the Science Department to invite a soil conservation specialist to come to the school and speak to the students.

Since First Financial began with a group of Asbury Park schoolteachers back in 1936, the credit union has not forgotten its educational roots.  That is why its Foundation offered current Monmouth and Ocean County educators four classroom grants to use at their schools for the 2012-2013 school year.

 

First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to Brick Educational Enrichment Center Teacher

Press Release

Brick Township, NJ – Brick Educational Enrichment Center Teacher Sally Flannery, a resident of Wall, NJ, was delighted when she received a surprise visit to her classroom by First Financial President & CEO, Issa Stephan, who brought her a $500 classroom grant for the 2012-2013 school year.

Ms. Flannery submitted a grant application to purchase drop-proof iPad cases to protect the devices she uses to teach preschool children with special needs.

“The iPad is single handedly helping our children access a world they’ve never had access to before,” said Flannery. ”However, there’s one tiny, little glitch. Preschoolers drop things. Often, children on the autistic spectrum and children with behavior disorders throw things, and they are not able to differentiate between the cost of a stuffed dinosaur and a $500 iPad. The drop-proof cases will help protect our equipment and ensure our children have access to the world at their fingertips.”

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Pictured above left to right: Principal Kathleen DiGrigoli, Issa Stephan, Sally Flannery, and Walter Hrycenko.

Since First Financial began with a group of Asbury Park schoolteachers back in 1936, the credit union has not forgotten its educational roots.  That is why its Foundation offered current Monmouth and Ocean County educators four classroom grants to use at their schools for the 2012-2013 school year.

 

First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to Lacey Township Middle School Teacher

Press Release

Lacey Township, NJ – Lacey Township Middle School Teacher Kathleen Cafiero, a resident of Forked River, was delighted when she received a surprise visit to her classroom by First Financial President & CEO, Issa Stephan, who brought her a $500 classroom grant for the 2012-2013 school year.

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Ms. Cafiero submitted a grant application to benefit a select group of students who were placed in a new program for autistic children and in need of material that would optimize their learning potential. She suggested that the use of laptops would greatly assist these autistic students to a better understanding of how education is best suited to their specific needs.

“This use of technology would allow our students to direct and monitor their own learning and allow our teachers to assess their individual progress,” said Cafiero.  “A student whether they have special needs or not, should have control over parts of their education.”

Since First Financial began with a group of Asbury Park schoolteachers back in 1936, the credit union has not forgotten its educational roots.  That is why its Foundation offered current Monmouth and Ocean County educators four classroom grants to use at their schools for the 2012-2013 school year.