Bay Federal Credit Union awards $7,500 in scholarships to local students

CAPITOLA, CA (April 7, 2022) — Bay Federal Credit Union announced the winners of its financial education scholarships at its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, March 29.

Local students Coleman Garner, Juan Padilla, and Carmen Sauceda were named Education Scholarship recipients. Micaela DiPiero and Albert Vizcarra were awarded Mac McCormac Employee Scholarships. Each will receive $1,500 for school-related expenses.

Carrie Birkhofer, Bay Federal President and CEO, announced the honorees at the meeting, which was held in-person at Bay Federal’s Capitola Branch and on Zoom.

“I am incredibly pleased to honor these hard-working students,” Mrs. Birkhofer said. “My hope is that each of them will succeed in their educational pursuits and go on to make a real difference in our world.”

Scholarship applicants were required to submit essays describing what their approach would be to improve money management skills of teens and adults in their communities. The essays were judged blind.

Since 2008, Bay Federal has awarded 75 scholarships totaling $76,500 to students who are pursuing higher education.

“I think it’s great that Bay Federal offers these opportunities for its community,” Sauceda said. She uses student loans, lives at home, and works part-time to attend UC Santa Cruz. “I also have two younger siblings that are going to go to college at some point, and I don’t want to put it all on my dad.”

The application window for the scholarships opens in November each year. The Mac McCormack Employee Scholarship was named after Bay Federal’s first employee.

Who are the Education Scholarship winners?


  • Coleman Garner, a returning student, is pursuing an Associate’s Degree in nursing at Cabrillo College. Garner plans to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing and become a Registered Nurse to “give back” to the Santa Cruz community.
  • Juan Padilla, a North Salinas High School alumnus and a sophomore at UCLA, is majoring in Psychology while minoring in Biomedical Research, Chicano Studies, and Public Health. The Salinas resident and youngest of three siblings was the first in his family to graduate from high school, and he says that inspired him to continue his education. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, Padilla plans to pursue a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology, and then a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.
  • Carmen Sauceda is a freshman and Environmental Studies major at UC Santa Cruz. The Aptos resident and Pacific Collegiate School graduate says that while her aspirations are many, her current goals are to continually challenge herself, maintain high grades, and graduate on time.


Who are the Mac McCormac Scholarship winners?


  • Micaela DiPiero, Service Manager at Bay Federal’s River Street Branch, is near to earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Arizona Global Campus. DiPiero also won the scholarship in 2020 and 2021.
  • Albert Vizcarra, Service Manager at Bay Federal’s Salinas Branch, is studying Business Management at Cabrillo College. Upon completing required coursework, Vizcarra plans to transfer to CSU Monterey Bay, to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree. Vizcarra also won the scholarship in 2021.

Albert Vizcarra

Coleman Garner

Juan Padilla

Carmen Saucedo

Micaela DiPiero

About Bay Federal Credit Union

Bay Federal Credit Union is a full-service, not-for-profit financial institution that serves over 86,000 members and 2,400 local businesses throughout Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey counties. With more than $1.6 billion in assets, Bay Federal is the largest member-owned financial institution in the region. The organization has been proudly serving its members and the community since 1957. Bay Federal is a certified Community Development Financial Institution, with a primary mission of promoting community development alongside their financial activities. Bay Federal has an award-winning employee volunteer program in which employees have given their own money and volunteer for numerous local schools, nonprofit organizations, and community events each year.


Amy Ivey,
SVP, Chief Marketing Officer
Bay Federal Credit Union

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