Oakland Press | By Amanda Braniecki
“What do you think your generation does better than any other generation? Tell us why.”
That is the question Michigan First Credit Union, in conjunction with its young adult financial educational program Young & Free Michigan, is asking Michigan high school seniors and college students as part of its annual scholarship competition. With up to $85,000 in scholarships provided by the financial institution, the grand prize winners in each of the three categories will receive $10,000 to help finance their continued education.
The three categories for the competition include high school senior video, high school senior essay and college video. Applicants have until 3 p.m. Feb. 6 to submit their response to the question in either a 60-second video or a 300 to 500-word essay. The top 10 applicants in each category will be determined by online voting, and a panel of judges will choose the final winners.
The top three winners in each category will receive a $10,000 scholarship, and runners up will receive $5,000 and $3,000 scholarships. Additionally, Michigan First will select more than 30 additional high school applicants to receive $1,000 scholarships.
“Being that we were founded by educators, our credit union has always had a unique understanding both of the importance of pursuing higher academic goals and the financial struggles that accompany it,” said Michigan First President/CEO Michael Poulos. “We created our scholarship competition not only to provide the much needed financial assistance, but also to further our engagement with our schools and residents of Michigan. It is our hope that our contribution to students’ education will create a positive impact that will last throughout the years to come as these students graduate and become the future of our workforce.”
Applications will be accepted now through 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6 at YoungFreeMichigan.com. All applicants must be high school seniors or current college students, as well as members of Michigan First, but interested students throughout Michigan may join the credit union when they apply for the competition. The public voting for the top videos and essays will take place between Friday, Feb. 10 and 20, determining the top 10 finalists in each category. The panel of judges will determine the winners, which will be announced on or around March 6.
The Michigan First Foundation is a nonprofit founded in 2012 by the credit union with a focus on youth and education in metro Detroit. It funds the scholarships as part of more than $150,000 in contributions to local charitable organizations and students each year. Since the inception of the scholarship competition, Michigan First has given away nearly $1 million in scholarships to Michigan students.