First Financial Foundation Awards Scholarship to Rutgers University Student

Press Release

FREEHOLD, N.J.– The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation ( recently awarded a $500 scholarship to Juliana DiGiacomo of Freehold, who graduated from Biotechnology High School in Freehold. She is  attending Rutgers University’s (Piscataway, NJ) School of Arts and Sciences Honors College.

In order to qualify for the 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 2017 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.

DiGiacomo submitted an essay in which she explained that it is important “to develop good credit because it shows banks, credit unions, employers, landlords, utility providers or really anyone, that you can be trusted, not only financially but in many other respects as well.” She ended her essay with the assertion that “being in debt and paying bills seems scary to us right now, but it’s part of becoming an adult.”

“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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