SPIRE Credit Union has awarded $5,000 in scholarships to members in both Traditional and Non-Traditional categories. The five winners will each receive $1,000. More than 160 applications were reviewed by a team of SPIRE employees, rating applicants on school and community involvement, as well as essays answering the question, “How has the global pandemic financially affected you and/or your family, and what steps have you taken to manage your finances throughout this time?”
Brianna Haberman explained how her family went from being busy with sports and other activities to predominantly remaining at home. “This was a positive financial impact since we spent less money,” said Brianna, “But unfortunately, this negatively affected businesses and the economy.” Brianna is a 2021 graduate of Milaca High School and will attend Bethel University.
Brielle Norvell, a high school senior at high-risk during the pandemic said it was hard for her to find employment that didn’t put her at additional risk. “I picked up odd jobs serving families who are also high-risk,” said Brielle, “and due to inconsistencies in my income, I recreated a budget to limit my expenses.” Brielle is also a 2021 graduate of Milaca High School and will attend the Hamline University in the fall.
Claire Prinske detailed her family’s financial challenges throughout the pandemic, but said, “Because of my parent’s prior financial planning to buy a home they could afford on one income, they were able to pay the bills, feed our family, and keep a roof over our heads.” Claire is a 2021 graduate of Eagan High School and will attend the Minnesota State University Mankato in the fall.
Madison Stoltzman found that the pandemic diminished her ability to financially support herself and, in turn, shifted the financial weight to her parents. “My mom and dad, both frontline workers in healthcare and emergency response,” described Madison, “suddenly found themselves amidst the pandemic’s financial strain.” Madison is from Maple Grove, MN and attends the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.
Cori Roberts experienced uncertainty about her future job prospects, and reduced scholarship opportunities. “To address these dilemmas, I took three strategic actions,” explained Cori, “Carefully planning my final year in college, taking on multiple jobs, and investing in my brokerage account.” Cori is from Burnsville, MN and also attends the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.
Since its inception, the SPIRE Scholarship Program has awarded a total of $48,500 in scholarships to 83 credit union members. “SPIRE’s Scholarship Program represents our core purpose of improving lives and core action of giving back,” said SPIRE President/CEO Dan Stoltz, “A heartfelt congratulations to each of our winners and best wishes for continued success!”