Michigan First to Award More Than $50,000 in Local Scholarships

Video and essay contests for Detroit-area students include three $10,000 grand prizes

LATHRUP VILLAGE, Mich. – Jan 15, 2013 – Michigan First Credit Union—together with Young & Free Michigan, its young adult financial education program—has given away more than $650,000 in scholarships to metro Detroit students over the past nine years. The community financial institution has expanded scholarship programs for 2013 to include a $10,000 grand prize in each of three categories.

The three scholarship categories include: a high school video contest, a high school essay contest and a college video contest. Applicants can create their response with a 60 sec. video or a 300-word essay. For each category, this year’s question is “What would you do with $50,000?” The three winners will receive a $10,000 scholarship, and runners up will receive $5,000 and $3,000 scholarships. The top ten applicants in each category will be selected by online voting and a panel of judges will select the winners.

“By expanding our scholarships this year, we’ll be able to make an even greater impact in the lives and futures of local students,” says Michael Poulos, Michigan First’s president & CEO. “This credit union was founded by Detroit teachers and education is something we believe in doing our part to support. We’ll continue to work with local schools, educators and communities through our scholarships, student-run credit union branches and the Young & Free Michigan program. Investing in the communities where our members live and work is a critical part of who we are.”

The Michigan First Foundation—a non-profit founded in 2012 by the credit union with a focus on youth and education in metro Detroit—funds the scholarships as part of $160,000 in contributions to local charitable organizations and studentseach year.

In addition to the more than $50,000 awarded through the three categories, up to 30 $1,000 scholarships may be awarded to entries from selected high school participants in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties.

Applicationswill be accepted January 15 through February 12 at All applicants must be high school seniors or current college students as well as members of Michigan First Credit Union, but interested metro Detroit students may join when they apply for the contest. The public voting for the top videos and essays will take place between February 13 and 19, determining the top 10 finalists in each category. The winners will be selected the week of March 4.

About Michigan First Credit Union
Founded in 1926 by a small group of Detroit teachers, Lathrup Village-­based Michigan First Credit Union ( has grown into a more than $625 million financial institution serving nearly 90,000 individuals and local businesses in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. An industry leader in consumer-focused technology and dedicated customer service, the credit union is also significant supporter of local financial education and community organizations through the Michigan First Foundation, which donates $160,000 to more than 85 local nonprofits each year. For the latest news, and events, Follow Michigan First on Twitter at or “Like” Michigan First on Facebook

About Young & Free Michigan
Young& Free Michigan, powered by Michigan First Credit Union, is an ongoing effort to give the 17-to-25 crowd a voice, a head start and useful information about their finances. Spokesperson Austin Chapman uses the site’s blog, videos and frequent community appearances to share insight into the best ways to handle financial issues and encourage young adults to take advantage of Michigan First’s First Gear accounts, tailored specifically to their needs. Learn more at

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