Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union awards $500,000 in college scholarships
More than 400 students received grants to pursue college degrees
BROOKLYN, NY (June 14, 2019) — For the 19 th consecutive year, the Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union has helped make a college education more affordable to hundreds of students by awarding $500,000 in scholarships this week as part of the PSFCU Scholarship Program.
More than 400 students from seven states were granted scholarships ranging from $1,000-5,000 each. This year’s total financial commitment surpassed last year’s record amount of $450,000. This year, the majority of winners hailed from New Jersey (139), the Chicago area (124) and the New York City metropolitan region (122). Winners also came from Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida, and California.
Since its inception in 2001, the Brooklyn-based credit union’s scholarship program has awarded in excess of $5 million to more than 4,300 credit union members looking to pursue a degree in higher education.
Open to members of the nation’s largest ethnic credit, and their families, the “PSFCU Scholarship Program” recognizes students based on academic performance, as well involvement in various activities, organizations, parishes, Saturday schools and Polish ethnic clubs.
Of this year’s winners, 280 are high school graduates who will be continuing on to college, while 116 are current college-level students who are pursuing their degrees.
Additionally, a select group of 10 young PSFCU members were honored with the Presidential Scholarship, which enables American students to gain professional experience through study visits to Poland. Started two years ago, the Presidential Internship Program exposes young students to international companies based in Poland, and government-run enterprises in order to learn first-hand how economics, commerce and politics function in Poland.
In addressing the young Presidential Scholars, President of Poland Andrzej Duda said, “You are the generation that in a few years will be in the position to help shape and influence the United States. I hope to see you hold Poland in high regard, and most of all, appreciate the value in people by nurturing your relationships.”
In honoring the 2019 scholarship recipients, PSFCU hosted three award ceremonies last week in Brooklyn (at the Polish club and national home, Warsaw), Wallington, NJ (at Cracovia Manor) and Chicago (at the Polish Museum of America. At the Chicago event, world-renown Polish jazz singer Grazyna Auguscik performed for the attendees.
The honored guest at the Brooklyn ceremony was Caroline Cecot, an assistant professor of law at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, and a member of the first class of PSFCU scholarship recipients in 2001. The Harvard (magna cum laude, bachelor’s degree in economics) and Vanderbilt (J.D. and PhD in law and economics) graduate encouraged the students to make the most of every life experience: “Invest yourself fully into each adventure or challenge you face along your journey,” Cecot said. “But whenever you do, set your sights on some goal. I urge you not to treat any stage of your life as some kind of weigh station. Be open to opportunities, and be proud of your Polish heritage and how it has shaped you to uniquely contribute to the world. One day I hope that you will give back to the Polish community so that others like you can also reach their potential.”
About Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union
Founded in Brooklyn, NY in 1976, PSFCU is the largest ethnic credit union in the U.S. with $2 billion in assets. It offers carefully tailored financial products and services to its 135,000 members and their families throughout the country, mainly through its 19 branches in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Pennsylvania. Long known for its commitment to the communities it serves, the credit union proudly sponsors and supports countless Polish American organizations, schools, churches and cultural events that all help make local neighborhoods succeed and thrive.