It's been a challenging fiscal year for North Carolina public schools, but thanks to the State Employees' Credit Union Foundation, 2010 is looking a little less bleak for students.
The SECU Foundation, which is funded solely by members of Raleigh, N.C.-based State Employees' Credit Union, recently increased its educational scholarship funding by $4 million.
The additional funding will provide one $10,000 "People Helping People Scholarship" to each of the traditional public high schools in North Carolina. The four-year college scholarships will be awarded to graduating seniors for study at one of the sixteen constituent campuses of the University of North Carolina system. According to the over $18 billion credit union, as college costs continue to rise, the scholarship program was created to offer members a way to give back to their local communities and help ensure the ongoing success of North Carolina students.
Recipients are chosen by each individual high school's scholarship selection committee, tasked with finding a deserving student who embodies the credit union people helping people spirit. About 90% of the inaugural recipients from 2005 have completed their undergraduate degrees, which SECU Foundation Board Chairman Shirley Bell said is "an exceptionally high rate for standard scholarship programs." Since 2004 the SECU Foundation has provided a total of $25 million educational scholarships.
"As North Carolina's economy continues to struggle, many families have been faced with choosing basic necessities over assisting with educational expenses. Therefore, the availability of scholarships is more important than ever. SECU members are known for their generosity in local North Carolina communities and providing the People Helping People Scholarships is another example of their giving spirit," said Bell.
The SECU Foundation promotes local community development in North Carolina primarily through high impact projects in the areas of education, health and human services.