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, 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 Names Christen Corrado of Freehold Winner of 2013 Scholarship

Press Release:


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

The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation ( 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.”