In it’s fourth year of
’s “Write to Educate” Scholarship Contest, the credit union serving Greater Lansing wanted to make some changes to be sure they were meeting the needs of local students. Where else would they turn than their very own student interns for ideas?
“We always want to give our interns a project,” says Kelli A. Ellsworth-Etchison, LAFCU’s vice president of community and business development. “We asked them for some feedback on our scholarship. One talked about shared that she had received a scholarship in high school that had a community piece, which makes sense for us as a community credit union.”
The ideas resulted in an increase in the scholarships to $2,500 and a community component in which the scholarship winner may chose a local charity to receive $500.
“Most people know we are a strong community credit union,” says Ellsworth-Etchison. “We strongly believe in giving back, and we are encouraging all high school senior to apply. I want to have lots of essays to read.”
The increase in community giving is a reflection of LAFCU’s overall growth. In the past year the credit union has added 4,000 new members and created five new part-time teller positions as well as three marketing internship spots. According to Ellsworth-Etchison, LAFCU will likely be adding additional jobs over the next year.
“Things are just going well,” she says. “I attribute it to this community.”
LAFCU employees contribute to the credit union’s community giving culture by volunteering with dozens of local organizations and donating more than $70,000 annually.