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.”

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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.

Press Release: New Corporate Office is Now Open!

Press Release

2016 New Corporate Office Opening - June Staff Photo

Pictured above: First Financial staff in front of their new corporate office that is now open!

First Financial Federal Credit Union’s new corporate office is now open (www.firstffcu.com) and located at 391 Route 9 North (next to the Howell Park & Ride) in Freehold, NJ 07728.

The credit union’s new corporate office is located on the same property as their newest branch which opened in early 2015, the Freehold/Howell Service Center (389 Route 9 North).  This branch now serves about one third of the credit union’s nearly 19,000 members.

This new corporate office boasts two stories, spans 20,000 square feet, and has the same modern design as First Financial’s newest branch directly in front of it.

In regard to the credit union’s new corporate location, Issa Stephan, First Financial’s President/CEO stated, “We are dedicated to Monmouth and Ocean county residents and businesses, and we were fortunate enough to be able to buy this land on a main highway like Route 9 and build our new corporate offices. The new building will provide enhanced operational efficiencies that will help us to grow and evolve to keep pace with our members’ needs.  The corporate location represents our commitment to our members and our investment in Monmouth and Ocean counties to deliver a member-centric approach to banking.  This is a win-win-win for New Jersey, for our First Financial employees, and for our members.”

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About First Financial Federal Credit Union:

First Financial Federal Credit Union (formerly Mon-Oc Federal Credit Union) is a not-for-profit financial cooperative whose goal is to provide the highest level of quality products and personalized services while maintaining financial integrity and stability.  Our vision is to be a long-term financial partner with our Members. While First Financial has a highly trained, professional staff using the latest technology, we also pride ourselves on our personal touch. Unlike huge banking conglomerates, policy setting and overall strategic direction of First Financial are overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of credit union members. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA. For more information on First Financial, visit www.firstffcu.com.

First Financial Hosts its First LIFE™ Financial Reality Fair for Students at Lakewood HS

Press Release

LIFE Fair Housing Table and Wheel

Pictured above: Students from Lakewood HS spin the LIFE™ wheel and choose housing options.

Wall, N.J. – On May 20, 2015, First Financial Federal Credit Union held the first LIFE™ (Learning Independent Financial Education) financial reality fair event for the students at Lakewood High School. While the credit union has hosted financial reality fairs in the past, this fair has been revamped and is specifically sponsored and developed by First Financial. Approximately 160 sophomore, junior, and senior students participated in this hands-on version of the “game of life,” during which they were required to make on-the-spot financial decisions.

Dress for Success

Above: Dress for success table with career wardrobe options.

The LIFE™ Fair consists of a full day hands-on experience where students, after identifying their career choice and starting salaries, are provided a budget sheet requiring them to live within their monthly salary while paying for basics such as housing, utilities, transportation, clothing, and food. Once the students visit all the booths, they balance their budget and sit down with a financial counselor to review their expenses and get a “financial reality check.”

Getting ready for the real world - ties

Above photo: Students learn how to tie a tie, along with gaining resume writing and interviewing advice.

In regard to the school’s experience with their first ever LIFE™ Fair, Assistant Principal Major Finklin stated, “What an amazing experience for our students! The LIFE™ Fair afforded our students an opportunity to demonstrate skills they learned through our financial literacy curriculum and apply that knowledge in a fun and engaging way. We are extremely grateful to First Financial for providing financial counselors and other volunteers who helped our students better understand the real world financial concepts that they will utilize for the rest of their lives.”

LIFE Wheel

Above: The LIFE™ wheel.

While the LIFE™ Fair was certainly full of temptations, the students had to spend their money wisely while being able to save and budget themselves for the future – while also enjoying everything life has to offer. First Financial President and CEO, Issa Stephan, concluded, “Our mission for our first LIFE™ Fair was to help the students understand the value of money and how to manage their money, so as they grow as an adult they’ll become more financially responsible. Our credit union puts a high priority on financial education, after all – that’s how First Financial began 79 years ago, with a group of schoolteachers in Asbury Park.”

Additional photos from the event can be seen on First Financial’s Facebook page. To inquire about or set-up a LIFE™ Fair for a Monmouth or Ocean County, NJ school or business – please contact the Business Development Department at 732.312.1421, 732.312.1426, or email business@firstffcu.com.

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About First Financial Federal Credit Union:

First Financial Federal Credit Union (formerly Mon-Oc Federal Credit Union) is a not-for-profit financial cooperative whose goal is to provide the highest level of quality products and personalized services while maintaining financial integrity and stability.  Our vision is to be a long-term financial partner with our Members. While First Financial has a highly trained, professional staff using the latest technology, we also pride ourselves on our personal touch. Unlike huge banking conglomerates, policy setting and overall strategic direction of First Financial are overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of credit union members. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA. For more information on First Financial, visit www.firstffcu.com.

First Financial Holds Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for New Freehold/Howell Service Center

Press Release

1st Financial - Howell Grand Openeing

Pictured above: First Financial’s New Freehold/Howell Service Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Wall, N.J. – First Financial Federal Credit Union (www.firstffcu.com), a financial cooperative owned and operated by its members, recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the credit union’s newest branch at 389 Route 9 North (next to the Howell Park & Ride) in Freehold, NJ.

In attendance were several Howell Chamber of Commerce members including 2nd Vice President Tom Comer, Executive Director Susan Dominguez, John McGeehan from CentraState Health Care System, and Linda Apointe from Sam’s Club. Members of the First Financial Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee were also in attendance, as well as President/CEO Issa Stephan, realtor Marshall Kern, Freehold/Howell Branch Manager Dan Dunn, and members of the First Financial corporate office staff and Freehold/Howell branch staff.

The week of the Grand Opening was highlighted with special offers and prizes for members and the community. “Our first priority is achieving our members’ financial dreams by defining their financial goals and lifestyle, empowering them with financial education, helping them to plan their retirement, and manage their risk – and our newest branch will be a key vehicle in helping us to fulfill this promise with our membership,” said President/CEO, Issa Stephan.

1st Financial - Howell Grand Openeing

Pictured above: First Financial staff with President/CEO Issa Stephan and Board Chair Gordon Holder

This branch will now be a primary banking location for approximately a quarter of the credit union’s 20,000 members and features many important banking conveniences such as a drive thru, drive up and walk up ATMs, and more to come.

More photos from the ceremony are available by following First Financial on Facebook at www.facebook.com/firstfinancialnj.

1st Financial - Howell Grand Openeing

Pictured above: President/CEO Issa Stephan and Board Chair Gordon Holder cut the grand opening ribbon.

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About First Financial Federal Credit Union:

First Financial Federal Credit Union (formerly Mon-Oc Federal Credit Union) is a not-for-profit financial cooperative whose goal is to provide the highest level of quality products and personalized services while maintaining financial integrity and stability.  Our vision is to be a long-term financial partner with our Members. While First Financial has a highly trained, professional staff using the latest technology, we also pride ourselves on our personal touch. Unlike huge banking conglomerates, policy setting and overall strategic direction of First Financial are overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of credit union members. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA. For more information on First Financial, visit www.firstffcu.com.

First Financial’s Freehold/Howell Service Center is Now Open!

Press Release

First Financial Federal Credit Union’s newest branch is now open for business at 389 Route 9 North (next to the Howell Park & Ride) in Freehold, NJ 07728.

New Branch and Drive Thru

Pictured above: First Financial’s new Freehold/Howell Service Center – now open!

The credit union’s newest branch will be a primary banking location for approximately a quarter of the credit union’s 20,000 members.  First Financial’s newest branch features many important banking conveniences such as a drive thru, drive up and walk up ATMs, and more.

In regard to the credit union’s latest branch location, Issa Stephan, First Financial’s President/CEO stated, “We look forward to bringing the Howell and Freehold community a high-tech banking facility featuring modern convenience. Member experience is extremely important to us, and our first priority is achieving our members’ financial dreams by defining their financial goals and lifestyle, empowering them with financial education, helping them to plan their retirement, and more – and our newest branch will be a key vehicle in helping us to fulfill this promise with our membership.”

A ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening week featuring outdoor activities is planned for warmer weather, and will take place starting Monday, April 27th. Stay tuned for future details!

Feb 2 Soft Opening Teller Line

Pictured above: The teller line inside the new Freehold/Howell Service Center.