Three local high school seniors were presented scholarships at the 33rd annual Greater Alliance Federal Credit Union Golf Outing on May 16. The Rocco Montessano Scholarship Foundation, named for one of the credit union’s founders, awarded $7,500 in scholarship money in 2016. We would also like to thank all our sponsors and participants; with their help we were able to raise $10,400 for next year’s scholarship.
This year the scholarship application featured a twist. All applications had to be video submissions. Applicants were encouraged to share their submissions online with their friends and family to vote for their video. The top five vote-getters were judged by the scholarship committee at the credit union based on the following criteria- originality/creativity, ability to deliver a message in a clear, cohesive, and impactful way, effectiveness in addressing the scholarship question and accuracy of information presented.
The first prize of $3,500 went to Blake Bichler of Fair Lawn. He will be attending McDaniel College in Maryland studying exercise science. In Bichler’s video, he spoke about being a Red Cross lifeguard and saving one life in particular. He would ultimately like to work with the Commission Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service.
Nicholas Navarro of Paramus High School took the second prize of $2,500. He will be attending McPherson College in Kansas to study automotive restoration. His video spoke about how being an Eagle Scout taught him to be prepared. He was on the highway following an ambulance when the ambulance caught fire. He was ready with a fire extinguisher and was able to extinguish the fire.
The third place prize of $1,500 was awarded to Daphne Leenas of Lakeland High School. Her video spoke specifically about participating in a group called SWAP, Speak With a Peer, where she was able to learn how to support others during times of need.
Scholarships are earmarked for tuition, books, lodging or meal costs and will be made payable to the college or technical school the student is attending. Scholarships were presented to students at Ramsey Golf & Country Club by Greater Alliance Chief Executive Officer Glenn Guinto.
“We love getting to know all of our members at the credit union,” said Guinto. “This new video platform for our scholarships helped us to better understand the students applying and to see how creative they could be.”
Greater Alliance Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative, existing solely to serve its members in Bergen and Passaic counties within New Jersey. As a financial cooperative, Greater Alliance offers the best-in-market rates, world-class service, and a full menu of personal and commercial financial services.
Greater Alliance maintains three branches in Paramus, Hackensack and Paterson with more than 5,000 shared branch locations and 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs throughout the country.