UW Credit Union Awards $30,000 to 10 Student Members Through Community Values Scholarship Program

Credit union doubles investment amid economic uncertainty

UW Credit Union Scholarship Winner Jehan Salous

Madison, WI – July 29, 2020 – UW Credit Union awarded ten scholarships of $3,000 this month to student members that share the credit union’s commitment to improving its communities.

2020 marks the first year that at least one student from each of UW Credit Union’s eight campus branch locations was recognized, bringing the total investment to $30,000. This is a 100 percent increase from last year’s commitment and can help students with everything from obtaining textbooks and Wi-Fi to reducing their overall loan debt.

“Scholarship support, like that from UW Credit Union’s Community Values Scholarship, helps UW-Madison students reduce or replace what otherwise may have been a student loan to cover their educational expenses,” said Lauren Klink, Associate Director for Special Awards & Student Engagement at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  “Our team deeply appreciates and values these opportunities that lead to the overall reduction in student loan debt of our graduates.  Especially in a time of economic uncertainty, keeping a graduate’s debt burden low is increasingly important.”

Scholarship winners demonstrated academic excellence and a strong commitment to their communities through volunteerism, community-centered employment and school-focused activities.

“Today’s students face unprecedented challenges and yet they continue to give back by sharing their time and talent with others,” said UW Credit Union President & CEO Paul Kundert. “Increasing scholarship funding is our way of recognizing those efforts and hopefully easing some of the financial strain students are feeling.”

This year more than 200 students submitted applications for the Community Value Scholarship, now in its seventh year of recognizing college student contributions. Winners are as follows:

  • Madelyn Faust, UW Green Bay: As a parent educator for a community action program, Faust provides social and emotional support to underserved families through home visits and group connections.
  • Abigail Edelman, UW La Crosse (UWL): A primary volunteer with UWL’s Children’s Motor Development Program, Edelman coordinates activities for children with physical and cognitive disabilities.
  • Adama Sawadogo, Madison College: Sawadogo is a member of the servant-leadership nonprofit, Leading Change-Africa. She also tutors non-English speaking immigrants through the Literacy Network.
  • Jehan Salous, UW Milwaukee: As founder of the Milwaukee chapter of Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA), Sealous provides leadership training, tutoring services and initiates food drives.
  • Yasin Bah, UW Milwaukee: Through her work with the Minority Student Achievement Network, Bah connects with minority students across the country while building action plans to combat inequality.
  • Amalia Jaeck, UW Madison: A co-founder of the student organization, “Period at UW-Madison,” Jaeck raises awareness around vaginal health and donates hygiene products to various community centers.
  • Thomas Thelen, UW Madison: Thelen serves as Vice President of the student organization, Engineers Without Borders. He recently helped implement a drinking water supply system in Guatemala.
  • Stacey Sparks, UW Oshkosh: An active PTO member at a local elementary school, Sparks is a regular participant in school board meetings and a trusted advocate for teachers and parents.
  • Casey Nieman, UW Stevens Point: As a resident assistant, Nieman helps students acclimate to college life and navigate potential challenges by fostering inclusivity and providing social support.
  • Juliana Thor, UW Whitewater: Through her campus Nursing Home Visitation Program, Thor spends time connecting with senior residents while also planning events and activities to keep them engaged.

“My involvement [in MYNA] teaches youth how to advocate for their beliefs, combat stereotypes and become more involved in their communities,” said Jehan Salous. “Feeling less isolated brings about a sense of safety and comfort.”

Applicants were required to be new or returning full-time undergraduate students attending a UW System school, Madison College or Edgewood College. Half of the scholarship funds will be directly deposited to the student’s tuition account first semester, with the remaining half deposited for second semester.

“UW Credit Union’s generous Community Values Scholarship can provide a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) undergraduate student enough to cover books, which averages $600 a year,  to purchase a Wi-Fi device with unlimited data for one year costing $720, and to reduce the cost of tuition and fees with the remaining $1,680,” said Joseph Maddalena, Director of Foundation Relations for UWM. “The pandemic has revealed that internet access and connectivity are not luxuries but necessities. This scholarship can help students stay online to complete their courses and remain on track toward degree completion.”

About UW Credit Union
UW Credit Union is a growing, federally insured financial institution and a leading provider of a full range of financial services to University of Wisconsin communities. UW Credit Union's over 700 employees serve the financial needs of more than 270,000 members through world-class technology systems, and through a convenient network of 28 branch locations and over 100 ATMs. With assets exceeding $3.3 billion, UW Credit Union is ranked nationally among the leading credit unions. Founded 89 years ago by members of the University of Wisconsin community, UW Credit Union continues to operate as a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative with locations in the Madison, Milwaukee, Stevens Point, Green Bay, Oshkosh, Whitewater and La Crosse areas.

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