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Brooklyn-Based Credit Union Awards
Scholarships To Over 200 Students

Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union Marks 13th Year of Scholarship Program by Handing Out $200,000 to New York and Chicago Area Students

Brooklyn, NY (July 08, 2013) – While Washington wrestles over the affordability of student loans, the Brooklyn-based Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union did its part to help make college more affordable for hundreds of deserving students for the 13th consecutive year, as it awarded a total of $200,000 in college scholarships to members through its annual scholarship program this past week.

The PSFCU Scholarship Awards ceremonies took place in New York and Chicago, where 280 high school, undergraduate and graduate-level students were awarded scholarship funds.  Since its inception in 2001, the credit union’s scholarship fund has helped make college a reality for more than 2,300 students, while dispensing $2.8 million in financial aid.

“Our roots took hold in 1976 with the pledge to help Polish immigrants find a better future in America. This laudable scholarship program is consistent with our mission to help our members attain a better and more prosperous future,” said Krzysztof Matyszczyk, Chairman of the PSFCU Board of Directors.  “It is such a rewarding feeling to help these young adults realize their dreams.”

PSFCU_Scholarshipsforweb  The award ceremonies were held in Brooklyn, NY, and Mount Prospect, IL.  The following is a breakdown of the grants: for undergraduate and graduate students, $5,000 scholarships were awarded to five individuals, $2,000 scholarships were awarded to 11 students, and $1,000 scholarships were awarded to 88 others. In addition, $1,000 scholarships were awarded to 10 high-school students, and $200 scholarships were awarded to 156 different students.

This marked the fourth consecutive year the PSFCU scholarship program honored Chicago area students.  Of the 280 scholarship recipients, 37 hail from Chicago and neighboring communities, up from last year’s total of 20.  PSFCU branched out its operations to the Midwest three years ago, and now has three branch locations in Illinois.

“We’re proud of each and every one of our winners, and we’re excited about success of the program moving forward,” said Bogdan Chmielewski, PSFCU’s President and CEO.  “This is one of the largest such programs conducted by a U.S.-based credit union, and certainly the largest when you take into consideration the amount per member granted. We know it’s probably the wisest investment we can make in our communities.”

As in previous years, the PSFCU Scholarship program consisted of three parts: scholarships for high-school graduates who have been accepted to college; scholarships for college students; and acceptance to the “Astronomy Adventure with Copernicus,” a program for students enrolled in Polish supplementary schools.  But this year featured a fourth component, “Byc Polakiem,” a contest where individuals ages 9-25 competed to win a week-long stay in Poland, with PSFCU covering the travel expenses.

PSFCUHon._Michael_Fryzelaforweb  “When the PSFCU provides scholarships to these students, it’s a clear example of the founding philosophy of the credit union movement: people helping people,” said Michael Fryzel, former chairman and current board member of the National Credit Union Administration.

The college scholarships awarded by PSFCU to recent high school graduates is administered by the Credit Union Association of New York (CUANY).  The scholarship program geared toward current college students is conducted solely by the PSFCU.

In photo on right: Hon. Michael Fryzel addresses PSFCU scholarship recipients in Chicago area.

Committed to helping its members reach their full potential, the PSFCU has been very active in supporting academic endeavors to benefit members.  In addition to its annual scholarship program, several years back the credit union also helped create the Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, DC and provided a generous donation to establish the Chair of Polish Studies at Columbia University.

About the PSFCU
Founded in 1976 by a group of Polish immigrants to help other ethnic Poles obtain mortgages, the Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union now has 16 branches in New York, New Jersey and Illinois, and an operations center in Fairfield, NJ. The credit union also has a Mobile Branch, which is used at community events and an Online Branch accessible through their website, www.psfcu.com. The 36-year-old credit union, with more than $1.5 billion in assets, serves more than 78,000 members of the Polish and Slavic communities.  The credit union, which is the largest ethnic credit union in the United States, also operates an ATM at the National Shrine at Doylestown, PA.