First Financial Foundation names Cara Ditmar of Manahawkin recipient of 2017 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship

FREEHOLD, NJ (October 17, 2017) — The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation ( awarded a $500 scholarship to Cara Ditmar of Manahawkin, who graduated from Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin. She is now attending Dartmouth College’s (Hanover, NH) School of Arts and Sciences.

In order to qualify for this year’s scholarship, high school seniors attending school in Monmouth or Ocean Counties were given the option to submit a written essay or create a 60 second video clip. The students must also be attending an accredited 2 or 4 year college or university in the fall of 2017. Four winners were selected to receive a $500 First Financial Foundation 2017 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

This year’s essay topic: You and a friend decide that you would like to start building credit. Discuss with your friend what good credit is, ways to start building credit, how your credit union can help, and the benefits earned by having good credit.

This year’s video topic: Create a 60-second video that covers the importance of financial literacy.

Ditmar submitted a script between herself and a friend, in which she explained that “a credit score represents how financially responsible a person is” and “the better your credit, the more likely it is that companies will be willing to give you loans.” She also mentioned that credit unions, such as First Financial, where she’s had her own student account since 2005, are “great because they’re non-profit, and they are owned by each member of the credit union. They generally have lower interest rates and personalized customer service too.”

“We are thrilled to be able to aid these admirable and bright young students in their journey of success and education,” said First Financial President and CEO, Issa Stephan. “Our credit union puts a high priority on education. After all, that’s how First Financial began 81 years ago – with a group of schoolteachers in Asbury Park.”

Erma Dorrer Scholarship Recipient Cara Ditmar

About First Financial Foundation (NJ)

Since 1994, First Financial has supported the Monmouth & Ocean communities with the Erma Dorrer Scholarship Program. Today, that program has been extended into the First Financial Foundation to assist charitable organizations of the Monmouth & Ocean County Communities.  The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation is a non-profit working to support a variety of community programs and organizations throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  We direct 100% of your contributions to programs because all administrative expenses are paid for by First Financial Federal Credit Union.  To learn more, visit


Nicole Baniowski
First Financial Foundation
732-312-1472 (Office)
732-312-1490 (Fax)

Jessica Tortorice
VP of Marketing and Business Development
First Financial Foundation

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