First Financial Foundation Awards Scholarship to Dartmouth College Student

Press Release

FREEHOLD, N.J.– The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation ( awarded a $500 scholarship to Cara Ditmar of Manahawkin, who graduated from Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin. She is attending Dartmouth College’s (Hanover, NH) School of Arts and Sciences.

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.

Ditmar submitted a script between herself and a friend, in which she explained that “a credit score represents how financially responsible a person is” and “the better your credit, the more likely it is that companies will be willing to give you loans.” She also mentioned that credit unions, such as First Financial, where she’s had her own student account since 2005, are “great because they’re non-profit, and they are owned by each member of the credit union. They generally have lower interest rates and personalized customer service too.”

“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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