PSFCU contributed $300,000 to help defray the educational costs of its high school and college student members this year, PSFCU said.
"Time and again, our members have expressed their support for the program and the collective will to grow it. That's where our strength is. There are many banks that try to lure our members, but none that's willing to match our program." said Bogdan Chmielewski, PSFCU CEO. "There is no better example of how a local credit union can make a difference in its community than helping improve the educational prospects for the young generation."
Earlier this month, at a gala event in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, the PSFCU handed out scholarships to undergraduate and graduate-level students, ranging in value from $1,000 to $5,000 each. An independent panel of 12 people reviewed almost 200 worthy applications before choosing the final 144 winners.
A month earlier, teaming up with the Credit Union Association of New York, PSFCU awarded 115 college-bound high school graduates with scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,750. This marks the seventh year that the PSFCU has worked together with the CUANY to promote higher education for New York area students.
PSFCU takes particular pride that with more than 70,000 members, the credit union earmarks approximately $4 per member toward scholarships annually, a figure that dwarfs similar programs instituted by larger credit unions, PSFCU said.
"What started out as a nice gesture seven years ago has turned into such an important project that will pay dividends well into the future," said Malgorzata Wadolowska, who headed the PSFCU's board of directors scholarship committee. "This is what really separates a credit union that has deep roots in the community from a storefront bank."
In addition to the two scholarship events hosted by the PSFCU, the credit union also awarded financial grants to 20 grade-school children from the Polish Supplementary School Council of America (which includes more than 60 schools throughout the country). These grants will help cover the costs of the children's participation in a science camp this summer at the Kopernik Observatory in Vestal, NY.