First Financial Foundation 2013 Scholarship – Call for Entries

collegestudents

This year, our non-profit organization — the First Financial Foundation — will be awarding (3) $1,000 scholarships to undergraduate students who apply on or before July 31, 2013 for its Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

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

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 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! Your essay or video should include your ideas for carrying out a new membership campaign.

To qualify:

  • The scholarships will be awarded to First Financial members (as of December 31, 2012) who will attend (Fall 2013 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 August 15, 2013.

*To apply, please email your 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 & date of membership, where you are currently or will be attending college in the Fall 2013 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.

Classroom Grant Winner Sincerely Thanks First Financial Foundation

Back in December 2012 we announced our 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. To learn more about the First Financial Foundation’s classroom grants as well as Ms. Flannery’s story, click here to visit our previous blog post.

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

jenhainesPictured above from left to right: Michelle Ramsey, Assistant Principal;  Issa Stephan, First Financial President & CEO; Graham Stevens, First Financial JFAC Managing Director; Jennifer Haines, Winning Science Teacher; Douglas Corbett, Principal; Timothy Murphy, Assistant Principal; Louise Pesci, Curriculum Supervisor; Felicya Morreale, Supervisor of Math and Science; Kevin Buscio, Supervisor of Language and Social Studies.

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.

To see this year’s other classroom grant recipients, click here.

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

Press Release

IMG_0195

Pictured above from left to right: Graham Stevens (First Financial JFAC Managing Director), Issa Stephan (First Financial President & CEO), winning teacher Sally Flannery, Assistant Superintendent Walter Hrycenko), Jessica Revoir (First Financial Marketing Manager), and Megan Shull (First Financial Business Development Officer).

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.”

IMG_0190

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 fourclassroom grants to use at their schools for the 2012-2013 school year.

To see this year’s other classroom grant recipients, click here.

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

Press Release

IMG_0205

Pictured above: Lacey Township Middle School Teacher Kathleen Cafiero (far left) receives a check from First Financial President & CEO Issa Stephan (far right), and other members of the Foundation Committee – Graham Stevens (JFAC Managing Director), Jessica Revoir (Marketing Manager), Helga Britton (VP of Human Resources), and Megan Shull (Business Development Officer).

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.

IMG_0201%20KC%20edited

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 fourclassroom grants to use at their schools for the 2012-2013 school year.

To see this year’s other classroom grant recipients, click here.

 

First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to Freehold Township High School Teacher

Press Release

IMG_0211

Pictured above: Freehold Township High School Teacher, Laura Vannauker (right) receives a check from First Financial President & CEO, Issa Stephan.

Freehold Township, NJ – Freehold Township High School Animal Science Teacher Laura Vannauker, a resident of New Egypt, 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. Vannauker submitted a grant application to purchase supplies for the pets kept in her classroom as part of the Animal and Botanical Sciences Academy at the school.  Specifically, the grant money will help to care for Bucky the rabbit and Bear the ferret (pictured below along with two students).  Both animals were donated to the class and require constant care and feeding.  Part of the grant money will be used to build a hutch so they can both live comfortably.

IMG_0214

“I would also like to spend part of the grant money on an egg incubator,” said Vannauker.   ”We have hatched eggs in the past and it is always a highlight of the year for 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.

“Education remains a guiding principal for our organization, and we’re delighted to help our local educators enhance their classroom experience,” noted First Financial President & CEO, Issa Stephan.

Stephan also noted that the Foundation committee had a difficult job of choosing just four winning teachers out of the numerous outstandingapplications it received this year. “We received dozens of heartwarming essays from educators hoping to use the grant money to implement a variety of creative programs in their schools such as anti-bullying and character education, building a greenhouse on school grounds, integrating iPads, iPods, and laptops for educational use, and starting a classroom library to motivate and inspire students to read – to name a few,” said Stephan. “We wish we could have rewarded each and every one of our participants, and after extremely careful consideration we selected the four classrooms in which we felt the grant money would have the largest impact.”