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Half a million dollars for PSFCU Scholarship Program

For the 19th 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 as part of the 2019 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.

PSFCU Scholarship Program 2019 recipients from New Jersey

Since its inception in 2001, the PSFCU 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.

PSFCU Scholarship Program 2019 recipients from New York

Małgorzata Gradzki, Scholarship Committee chair said: “It brings me great joy to see that, with every year, the number of PSFCU member scholarship applications continues to grow. This is a great depiction of how the financial support by means of PSFCU’s annual scholarship programs positively influences the growth of Our Credit Union. This year, we made a significant improvement: candidates were able to apply and submit all of their supplementary documentation electronically. This transition took place without a hitch. The fact that we were able to award even more scholarships confirms that Our Credit Union is technologically advanced.”

PSFCU Scholarship Program 2019 recipients from Chicagoland

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.”

PSFCU Scholarship recipients with President of Poland Andrzej Duda in Presidential Palace in Warsaw (photo: Grzegorz Jakubowski/ KPRP)

In honoring the 2019 scholarship recipients, PSFCU hosted three award ceremonies 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.”

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