Capitola, CA – April 5, 2013 – Five Santa Cruz County students are a little closer to their education goals thanks to Bay Federal Credit Union.
President and CEO Carrie Birkhofer announced today the winners of the Credit Union's annual Mac McCormac Employee Scholarship and the 2013 "Be The Change" Scholarship. Recipients of both awards were honored at Bay Federal's Annual Meeting on March 26.
"Increases in higher education costs are driving students to look for non-traditional sources of financial aid for college," said Birkhofer, whose daughter is a college student. "My hope is that more businesses will create scholarship opportunities so that more students can afford to go to college."
Bay Federal's "Be The Change" Scholarship is a $1,000 award given to local students in pursuit of higher education at any college, university, business or vocational school. In addition to transcripts and letters of recommendation, applicants completed an online financial education course and submitted an essay or short video describing how they planned to "be the change" they wish to see in the world.
This year's "Be The Change" Scholarship are:
Maria Avalos Romero, a Harbor High School senior whose strong leadership skills and understanding of cultural and legal barriers to education for immigrants have helped numerous students find hope for the future through college planning and financial aid programs.
Jacob Malsbury, a graduating senior whose childhood experience with speech issues inspired his plans to become a speech pathologist. He hopes to help restore the gift of speech to stroke patients, wounded veterans, shock patients, and children living with speech impediments.
Elizabeth Schlaepfer, a William Jessup University student pursuing her degree in Psychology. Elizabeth's extensive volunteer experiences and her belief in the power of education to change lives has motivated her to become a teacher "who believes in the potential of all students, and who will work to help them realize that potential."
To help their own employees with education costs for schooling outside their regular work duties, Bay Federal also offers the Mac McCormac Scholarship, a $500 award named for the Credit Union's very first employee. Dawn Wingert, this year's recipient, is a 4.0 student working toward her bachelor's in psychology while fulfilling her full-time duties as an employee, wife, and mother.
A Surprise Award
Bay Federal presented a $500 award to Megan Eldredge, a 7th grader who applied for the "Be The Change" Scholarship to help with the cost of her 8th grade trip to Washington D.C.
"Megan realized that she wasn't eligible for the scholarship after completing her submission package, but she decided to send it in anyway," said Birkhofer. "After watching her amazing video about how small things can cause big changes in the world, we decided that we had to do something for her."
An additional $500 was given to Megan's school to help other students achieve educational goals.
To watch Megan Eldredge's "Be The Change" video, visit www.bayfed.com/articles/scholarships/index.html or www.facebook.com/bayfed.
About Bay Federal Credit Union
Bay Federal is a full-service, not-for-profit financial institution that serves over 56,000 members and 1,000 local businesses throughout Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey Counties. With over $670 million in assets, Bay Federal Credit Union is the largest member-owned financial institution in Santa Cruz County, serving its members and the community since 1957. For 10 consecutive years, 100% of all employees have given their own money and volunteered for numerous local schools, nonprofit organizations, and community events.
Amy Ivey, AVP Marketing and Development, Bay Federal Credit Union