First Financial Foundation Sponsors Career Day Program at South Toms River Elementary School

Press ReleaseTRESCareerDayPic

(L to R: Nicole Baniowski – Marketing Coordinator at First Financial, Carol Garczynski – Guidance Counselor at South Toms River Elementary, Dennis Holzapfel – Principal at  South Toms River Elementary, Issa Stephan – President & CEO at First Financial, and Matthew Brazinski – Director of Business Development at First Financial)

WALL, N.J. – The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation recently awarded $500 to South Toms River Elementary School to sponsor their annual Career Day Program for students.

The fourth and fifth grade students at South Toms River Elementary School will be visiting Monmouth University (West Long Branch, NJ) in May to tour the college campus and learn about the different types of education required for specific careers. The sponsorship money will be used toward a welcome breakfast, field trip transportation, and other activities throughout the day.

First Financial’s Business Development department was also asked to come back to the elementary school to speak as a presenter during South Toms River Elementary’s on site Career Day to discuss basic financial education with the students.

“We’re thrilled to be fortunate enough to help the students of South Toms River Elementary prepare themselves for a bright future during their Career Day and visit to Monmouth University. Since we began as a teacher’s credit union, we thrive on the importance of education and the success it brings – we’re happy to support this great program,” added Issa Stephan, President and CEO of First Financial.

###

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, click here.

First Financial Foundation 2016 Scholarships – Call for Entries

This year, our non-profit organization — the First Financial Foundation — will be awarding (4) $500 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarships to high school seniors within Monmouth and Ocean Counties attending a 2 or 4 year college or university in the Fall of 2016. Applicants must apply on or before 11:59pm on Friday, June 10, 2016.*

This year, the First Financial Foundation has decided to provide two different topics for students to choose from, to apply for a scholarship in the form of a written essay or a short video. You may choose to apply by submitting either the essay OR the video.
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.
 
Please note: Essays should be no longer than three pages, 11 point font, typed and double spaced.
 
Video Topic: Create a 60-second video that covers the importance of financial literacy.
Please note: Video clips should be recorded and uploaded to YouTube prior to applying, and no more than 60 seconds in length. 
Qualifications and other important information:
  • Four $500 scholarships will be awarded to four graduating high school seniors from any High School within Monmouth or Ocean Counties who will attend (Fall 2016 Semester) a 2 or 4 year college anywhere within the country.  The student must be a graduating high school senior from the class of 2016. The student does not have to be a First Financial member to apply for the scholarship, however in order to receive the $500 scholarship – the student will need to open a First Financial membership and should they be selected as a recipient of the scholarship, it will be directly deposited into their First Financial account only. No printed checks will be awarded.
  • Students accepted to trade or technical schools will not qualify for this scholarship.
  • A valid copy of either a college acceptance letter, student schedule, or registration confirmation must accompany all applications.
  • To apply, please email the essay or the link to your YouTube video to the First Financial Foundation at foundation@firstffcu.com, or you may send a printed copy of your essay 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, name & location of high school you graduated from in 2016, membership number and date of membership (if applicable), where you will be attending college in the Fall 2016 Semester, and any volunteer work you participate in.
Winners will be announced and notified via email by 5pm on June 24, 2016
Deadline for entry submission is 11:59pm on Friday, June 10th.
Good Luck – creativity is encouraged!

 

Please note: Children or relatives of First Financial employees or members of the Board of Directors, or those living within the same household as a First Financial employee are not eligible to apply for the Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

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

Press Release

IMG_0435

(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.”

###

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 Mary Pat Kochenash of Upper Freehold Regional School District

Press Release

Picture1

Pictured Above: Mary Pat Kochenash of Upper Freehold Regional School District

WALL, N.J. – Upper Freehold Regional School District occupational therapist, Mary Pat Kochenash, was surprised by members of the First Financial Foundation with a $500 classroom grant for the 2015-2016 school year.

Ms. Kochenash submitted a grant application to purchase pencil grips for each student in pre-K through second grades, in her school. Pencil grips run about $10 for 6 grips and help students hold a pencil in the dynamic tripod grasp writing method, taught within the school. The classroom academic climate has accelerated and children are now asked to write at the age of three, when they are not typically developmentally ready until the age of six. As a result, children are coming into school significantly weaker in postural, upper body, and grasp strength – and because of this modern educational paradox, children have lost the traditional tripod grasp to hold a pencil or pen.

“This grasp is used to maneuver a writing instrument efficiently and smoothly across the paper.  It saves time and energy while writing and is a highly developed hand skill,” said Kochenash. “Children today use a much weaker, far less mobile grasp with a hyperextended thumb to compensate for hand weakness.” She noted that a classroom grant from the First Financial Foundation would help her students immensely.

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 Laurie Peters of Bayville Elementary School

Press Release

LauriePeters

(L to R): Michael Conforti, Assistant Principal of Bayville Elementary School, Grant recipient and teacher, Laurie Peters and Steven Rieder, Principal of Bayville Elementary School

WALL, N.J. – Bayville Elementary School Basic Skills Teacher, Laurie Peters, was surprised by members of the First Financial Foundation with a $500 classroom grant for the 2015-2016 school year.

Mrs. Peters submitted a grant application to purchase additional resources to be used in the classroom and at home to support struggling students in the areas of reading, phonics, writing, and math.  Specifically, she wished to purchase leveled readers for students to borrow in order to read on their level at home, as well as alphabet and number strips to practice letter and number recognition. She also hoped to be able to buy basic supplies such as cardstock and glue, to create multi-sensory materials that the district cannot fund.

“I would use the grant money to create hands-on learning experiences for the students of Bayville Elementary School,” said Peters. “This approach will successfully incorporate students in the learning process as well as make it an enjoyable and beneficial time for both the students and myself.”

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.