ACCU awards $30,000 in scholarships to outstanding college students

GLENDORA, CA (September 24, 2019) — America’s Christian Credit Union (ACCU), a faith-based financial institution headquartered in Glendora, CA, has awarded $30,000 in college scholarships for the 2019-2020 academic year. In keeping with its corporate priority of building stronger futures, the credit union has disbursed $5,000 apiece to six distinguished students who seek to create cultural impact through Christ-centered academic excellence.

When the clock struck 5 p.m. on the submission deadline of June 14, more than 100 applications had been received from across the nation. A vast majority of these were submitted via ACCU’s website. Using criteria such as academic achievement, response to prompt, and extracurricular activities to judge the applications, the scholarship committee selected the following winners:

  • Business and Finance – Haidyn Chudy (Baylor University)
  • Education – Thomas Messinger (Kansas University)
  • Foster Youth or First Generation College – Daniel Hain (UC San Diego)
  • Graduate or Postgraduate Studies – Gabriel Allaf (Liberty University)
  • Math, Science, or Engineering – Mary Caswell (University of Florida)
  • Social Science or Ministry – Leah Ginnon (Liberty University)

The scholarship recipients, who range in age from 18 to 29, represent a diverse mix of backgrounds, educational pursuits, and servant leadership experience. The three 18-year-old freshmen on the list—Haidyn, Leah, and Mary—each participated in multiple extracurricular activities at high school, while also maintaining their high GPAs. Haidyn plans to major in finance, Leah is studying digital communications, and Mary hopes to obtain a degree in nursing.

Former foster youth, 27-year-old Daniel Hain, is a neuroscience student who wants to help people with brain injuries. “I plan to study brain plasticity and how biological breakthroughs will ultimately heal what was once considered impossible,” says Daniel, who always looks beyond his own needs to care for others.

Another winner in the medical field, Gabriel Allaf, holds a master’s in physiology and biophysics from Georgetown and is now enrolled at Liberty University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, pursuing his dream of becoming an emergency medicine physician. “I would like to thank God for this amazing opportunity,” says the 24-year-old Glendora native. “I intend to use the scholarship award for a school-sponsored medical missions trip to Honduras and the Dominican Republic.”

This year’s “oldest” awardee, 29-year-old Thomas Messinger, is pursuing a Masters in Literacy online while teaching full-time at a small charter school in San Diego. “I work with refugee and immigrant students from all around the world,” says the in-process foster parent. “Over the years, I have seen how reading and writing are huge obstacles for my students. I want to be able to empower them with literacy skills to help them achieve their dreams.”

Since its inception in 2006, ACCU’s college scholarship program has helped almost 80 students across America. The credit union’s President and CEO, Mendell L. Thompson, reiterated the importance of supporting students with such awards. “Furthering their education allows them to deepen their understanding of God and the gifts He has blessed each individual with,” he said. “We want the students to develop these gifts so they can be used for His glory.”

ACCU’s AVP of HR, Richard Mathews, who served on the scholarship committee, was impressed with the candidates’ essays. “I wish we were able to reward them all,” he said ruefully. “The high quality of the application materials is testament to the ambition, passion, and piety of our distinguished ACCU scholars.”

For more information about next year’s ACCU College Scholarship, please email

Mary Caswell, a freshman at University of Florida.

Daniel Hain, an undergrad at UC San Diego.

Gabriel Allaf, a postgraduate at Liberty University.

About America’s Christian Credit Union

Founded in 1958 and currently managing over $500 million in assets, America’s Christian Credit Union (ACCU) provides a broad range of financial solutions grounded in Christian stewardship principles. Notable among these are the savings and personal loan products that serve ministry expansion and families through the Adoption Loan program. ACCU’s vision as “A Financial Partner for Cultural Impact” is realized through its mission to reach, serve, and teach in concert with its corporate priorities to build stronger families, communities, ministries, and futures. For more information, please visit


Andrew Casanova
(626) 208-5478 |

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