First Financial Foundation Awards Scholarship to Rutgers University Student

Press Release

Max WitkowskiFREEHOLD, N.J. – The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation (www.firstffcu.com) 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 the fall.

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 in the fall of 2016. Four winners were selected to receive a $500 First Financial Foundation 2016 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

This year’s 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.

The year’s 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 80 years ago – 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 http://www.firstffcu.com.

First Financial Foundation Awards Scholarship to High Point University Student

Press Release

Kelsey QuinnFREEHOLD, N.J. – The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation (www.firstffcu.com) awarded a $500 scholarship to Kelsey Quinn of Howell, a senior who recently graduated from Freehold High School. She will be attending High Point University (High Point, NC) in the fall.

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 in the fall of 2016. Four winners were selected to receive a $500 First Financial Foundation 2016 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

This year’s 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.

The year’s video topic: Create a 60-second video that covers the importance of financial literacy.

Quinn constructed a thoughtful essay, beginning with the importance of having a good credit score, the need for having the basic knowledge for creating a good score, and the commitment to be responsible with credit. She included ways to build credit with a secured credit card, a credit builder loan, or to have a co-signer for an unsecured credit card. She stated, “Credit, in the long run, can have a big impact on your life. It can decide whether you get to rent that beautiful apartment that you want, or whether you can get your dream car. There are many things that your credit score controls, and having a good one can make your life a lot easier.”

“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 80 years ago – 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 http://www.firstffcu.com.

First Financial Foundation Awards Scholarship to Brookdale Community College Student

Press Release

Dylan WisniewskiFREEHOLD, N.J. – The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation (www.firstffcu.com) awarded a $500 scholarship to Dylan Wisniewski of Howell, a senior who recently graduated from Howell High School’s Vocational Educational Program. He will be attending Brookdale Community College (Lincroft, NJ) in the fall with a concentration in Automotive Technology.

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 in the fall of 2016. Four winners were selected to receive a $500 First Financial Foundation 2016 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

This year’s 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.

The year’s video topic: Create a 60-second video that covers the importance of financial literacy.

Wisniewski submitted an essay where he began with the financial freedom that comes from having a few dollars in your pocket and the pitfalls that come with easy spending combined with no savings. He related how he received an “A” in his Financial Literacy class but nearly flunked in his real life spending habits. In his essay he stated, “Building credit is a lot like building muscle. I take my daily gym workouts very seriously. Hard work, time and dedication have helped me attain physical fitness. Therefore, having a partner such as First Financial can help me achieve financial fitness in the long run.” He finished strongly with a detailed account of how to bolster savings, cut back on spending, and how small changes add up to having more dollars in one’s pocket.

“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 80 years ago – 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 http://www.firstffcu.com.

First Financial Foundation Awards Scholarship to University of New Hampshire Student

Press Release

Lauren Harper 2

FREEHOLD, N.J. – The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation (www.firstffcu.com) awarded a $500 scholarship to Lauren Harper of New Egypt, a senior who recently graduated from the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (Sandy Hook, NJ). She will be attending the University of New Hampshire this fall as a Biomedical Sciences major with a Mathematics minor.

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 in the fall of 2016. Four winners were selected to receive a $500 First Financial Foundation 2016 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

This year’s 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.

The year’s video topic: Create a 60-second video that covers the importance of financial literacy.

Harper submitted a bright and innovative film clip, which discussed how financial literacy, especially as part of the American Dream, can make a profound impact on one’s financial life from the beginning of adulthood all the way to retirement. In her video she states, “Personal financial literacy requires long term goals and vision. It requires a person to plan for the future and have the discipline to use their financial literacy skills every day. Financial literacy skills span from knowing how much money to save for your first car to choosing the best insurance policy for yourself.”

“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 80 years ago – with a group of schoolteachers in Asbury Park.”

# # #

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 http://www.firstffcu.com.

First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to Robin Fabricatore of Toms River Intermediate North High School

Press Release

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(L to R: Toms River Board of Ed Member – Christopher Raimann, Principal at Toms River North – Lynn Fronczak, Guidance Counselor at Toms River North – Robin Fabricatore, Business Development Director at First Financial – Matthew Brazinski, and Toms River Board of Ed Member – Joe Nardini)

WALL, N.J. – Toms River Intermediate North High School guidance counselor and anti-bullying specialist, Robin Fabricatore, was surprised by members of the First Financial Foundation with a $500 classroom grant for the 2015-2016 school year.

Ms. Fabricatore submitted a grant application to assist with the events that are run by the Interact Club in her school – a Rotary International service club with 97 participating students. The grant money will be used to help with the group’s future community outreach efforts. They plan to purchase plastic containers for each homeroom (56 total) to collect aluminum can tabs to be donated to the Long Branch Ronald McDonald House. They also plan to purchase supplies to make holiday cards for the nursing home/homebound elderly. The club also wishes to buy a color ink cartridge to allow students to make flyers and posters brighter and more noticeable. Lastly, any money remaining will be used to purchase two large plastic containers and cellophane to make gift auction baskets for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Dr. Seuss stickers for the Read Across America event.

“Our main goals as Interact members are to make new friends, improve the community, develop leadership skills and make a difference in the world,” said Fabricatore. “Intermediate North has an awesome group of Interact students that are eager to help our community.”

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 six (6) classroom grants to use at their schools for the 2015-2016 school year.

“Education has and always will be a pivotal piece of our organization, and we’re delighted to be able 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 tough job of choosing just six winning teachers out of the numerous applications received this year. “We received dozens of heartening essays from educators hoping to use the grant money to implement or maintain a variety of creative programs in their schools such as purchasing basic skills materials for struggling students, funding a thanksgiving feast for the less fortunate, integrating digital voice recorders for students to practice second languages, new tables for a classroom, iPads, updated software, and pencil grips for students in pre-K through 2nd grade – to name a few,” said Stephan. “We wish we were able to reward each and every one of our participants, and after extremely careful consideration we selected the six classrooms in which we felt the grant money would have the largest impact.”

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 www.firstffcu.com.

First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to Cathy Heuser of Lanes Mill Elementary School

Press Release

Heuser

L to R: Cathy Heuser, EXCEL Teacher and Theresa Goodfellow, Assistant Vice Principal at Lanes Mill Elementary School in Brick, NJ

WALL, N.J. – Lanes Mill Elementary School EXCEL teacher, Cathy Heuser, was surprised by members of the First Financial Foundation with a $500 classroom grant for the 2015-2016 school year.

Mrs. Heuser submitted a grant application to purchase materials to help with environmental projects in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M) classroom in her school in Brick, NJ. This would allow her to buy advanced wind experiment kits, sensors, batteries, and circuit kits so students would be able to use the gathered information about gear ratios, generators, polarity, and vertical axis to create alternate designs for wind turbines.

“With the speed of technology growing exponentially, the students of today are likely preparing for jobs and careers that do not yet exist. Therefore, it is imperative that educators take on the role of the facilitator; guiding students to develop their skills to think critically, use logical reasoning, problem solving, working cooperatively and communicating,” said Heuser. “It is my intention to use the award to help my students realize their personal strengths and use those strengths to teach them how to be lifelong learners. By investing in the S.T.E.M. classroom today, we are investing in our students’ future.”

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 six (6) classroom grants to use at their schools for the 2015-2016 school year.

“Education has and always will be a pivotal piece of our organization, and we’re delighted to be able 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 tough job of choosing just six winning teachers out of the numerous applications received this year. “We received dozens of heartening essays from educators hoping to use the grant money to implement or maintain a variety of creative programs in their schools such as purchasing basic skills materials for struggling students, funding a thanksgiving feast for the less fortunate, integrating digital voice recorders for students to practice second languages, new tables for a classroom, iPads, updated software, and pencil grips for students in pre-K through 2nd grade – to name a few,” said Stephan. “We wish we were able to reward each and every one of our participants, and after extremely careful consideration we selected the six classrooms in which we felt the grant money would have the largest impact.”

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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 www.firstffcu.com.