cPort Credit Union Funds Local Elementary School Scholarship
Riverton Students Compete for College Scholarships
PORTLAND, Maine – On May 25, students at the Riverton Elementary School in Portland, Maine, gathered for an awards ceremony during which 15 students received $100 college scholarships from cPort Credit Union for the quality of their written college essays.
For the third year, cPort Credit Union has sponsored this program which encourages students in the third, fourth and fifth grades to think about career aspirations and higher education. Students are asked to write an essay about what they are interested in now and how that might carry into future college studies. Five, college scholarships were given at each grade level. Each student who completed a scholarship application received a tee shirt and a certificate for their participation. All were considered winners for the learning associated with program.
“The Riverton & Beyond program continues to be the cornerstone of our community outreach efforts. We believe this innovative program provides assistance to our local schools and at the same time makes a difference in the lives of these elementary school students,” said cPort CEO Gene Ardito.
cPort Credit Union in partnership with Bob Stuart, Director of the nonprofit Maine College Circle, provides workshops to the students on higher education and specific colleges which align them with their career choices. Teachers assist the students with their research and essay preparation.
Essays are judged by cPort employees, and students receive marks for effort, overall message and recommendation letters from teachers and parents. Last year, 165 students wrote essays with careers ranging from veterinarians to a paleontologist and focused on local colleges and those in states as far away as Colorado. This year, 181 students participated and winning essays ranged from a nanotechnologist to a psychologist.
The Superintendent of Portland Schools, Dr. James Morse also attended the ceremony and gave a speech to the students about the importance of thinking about college and career choices even at this early stage. After the ceremony he said of the program, “It’s amazing to watch elementary age children think and write about a future that includes college. cPort’s sponsorship of this event is to be commended.”
When asked about the program’s direct impact and importance, Riverton Principal Nancy Kopak said, “I am captivated by the wide variety of interests that our students have expressed. This project is a fabulous way to include parents and community members in helping students be successful by applying their formal education to real life experiences.”
cPort Credit Union implemented a similar program this year at all four Augusta Elementary Schools and parents, teachers and administration were very pleased with the results. cPort has been asked to continue the program at these schools again in 2011.
The program also received national attention this year in winning a Diamond Award at the conference for the Credit Union National Association for Marketing and Business Development. Diamond Awards are chosen out of over 1,000 entries and recognize outstanding marketing and business development achievements in the credit union industry.
The complete list of winners is as follows:
Third Grade: Kiin Mohamed, Maryam Hameed, Tameka Williams, Josh Jacob Ying, Gadiid Warsame
Fourth Grade: Camren King, Tatiana Molina, Kason Roeun, Shayla Skinner, Hudson Vaganis
Fifth Grade: Helen Bellafiore, Cassidy Bigelman, Owen Ganter, Tim Baker, Shalynn Fielder