First Financial Foundation Awards Scholarship to Rutgers University Student

Press Release

Max WitkowskiFREEHOLD, N.J. – The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation ( awarded a $500 scholarship to Max Witkowski of New Egypt, a senior who recently graduated from the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science in Manahawkin, NJ  and will attend Rutgers University (New Brunswick Honors College, NJ).

In order to qualify for this year’s scholarship, high school seniors attending school in Monmouth or Ocean Counties were given the option to submit a written essay or create a 60 second video clip. The students must also be attending an accredited 2 or 4 year college or university. Four winners were selected to receive a $500 First Financial Foundation 2016 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

Essay topic: You and a friend decide that you would like to start building credit. Discuss with your friend what good credit is, ways to start building credit, how your credit union can help, and the benefits earned by having good credit.

Video topic: Create a 60-second video that covers the importance of financial literacy.

Witkowski submitted an essay in a script format with two friends discussing how to transition into the adult world of finance and credit. He covered the concept of credit scores, how to build them, the self-discipline it takes to keep a good one, and the benefits of having a great score. He added, “If we start building good credit it can be less challenging. When you have a higher credit score, loan interest rates can go down, so when you’re paying back your loans a couple of years from now, you won’t have to pay back as much as you otherwise might with a lower score.”

“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 in 1936 – with a group of schoolteachers in Asbury Park.”

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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

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