From left: CFSFC's Betty Ann Faulkner, Josephine Hill, Bibiana Arroyo, Sarah Williams, and Allegacy FCU CEO Cathy Pace.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The Center for Smart Financial Choices (CFSFC) announced its first scholarship winners for current or rising youth and adult college students, awarding a total of $5,500 among recipients in three categories.
Reynolds High School senior Josephine Hill is recipient of a $1,500 youth (17-21) scholarship, offered for students planning on or attending a two-year community college in 2014-2015. Hill will attend UNC-Wilmington.
Forsyth County resident Sarah Williams is winner of a $1,500 adult (22-75) scholarship, offered for any adult looking to further his or her education by attending college in 2014-2015. Williams plans to attend Forsyth Technical Community College.
Early College of Davie County student Bibiana Arroyo is recipient of the $2,500 Hispanic/Latino youth (17-21) scholarship offered for any Hispanic/Latino youth planning on or actively attending college in 2014-2015. She will attend Salem College.
Each award required potential winners to attend financial education classes designed to assist them with planning for college and beyond. Students also were required to write an essay on "How I plan to go to college without creating unnecessary debt" or "What going to college will mean for my future."
“It gives us great pleasure to help individuals establish healthy financial habits wherever they are in life, young, old or just starting out with their first job,” said Betty Ann Falkner, CFSFC education program manager. “With this information, the chances are greater that these new financial habits become second nature throughout life.”
“In college, I plan to watch my spending habits and try to use a credit card as little as possible,” Hill wrote in her essay. “I plan on having a job on or off campus or both and with that money I’ll contribute to educational costs and save as much as I can to pay off any debt as I go. When I graduate in four years, I want to be completely debt free.”
Arroyo credits her lifeguarding job during high school for teaching her responsibility and how to budget her own money. She looks forward to more financial education like the offerings at the CFSFC.
“I will continue to pursue my dreams of informing myself as much as I can,” she said. “I will find the resources I need to learn ways to save, attend college and budget my time. Having the Center for Smart Financial Choices and other organizations by my side will help me achieve what I once thought was impossible.”
Cancer at a young age thwarted college chances for Sarah Williams right out of high school. To set a good example for her daughter now, she is pursuing her degree debt free while working full time.
“If I never tried to get my degree because of cancer, then I would be letting cancer win,” Williams declared. “It may not take my life but it would have taken my dreams. This was not an option. It may take some very serious planning and sticking to a strict budget, but it is still possible.”
The CFSFC recently announced a scholarship fundraising challenge with a goal of $3,000 to increase the 2015 scholarship levels. Donations are accepted at www.cfsfc.org.
Allegacy Federal Credit Union opened the non-profit CFSFC in 2012 to assist consumers with the skills necessary to more effectively manage their money, credit, debt and financial planning. The CFSFC is located at Allegacy FCU headquarters at 1691 Westbrook Plaza Drive in Winston-Salem.