2010 Scholarship Form (film):2005 Scholarship form 8/20/09 11:52 AM Page 1 2010 Certification and Release Authorization: Upon receipt of application, a Paragon representative may contact you for additional information. Paragon Federal Credit Union The information below must be completed before the applicant can be considered for a scholarship. 2010 Carl Strong Memorial Scholarship I certify that the information in this application is true, complete and accurate. I authorize the The Award: release of my information for the purpose of confirming the validity of this application. Paragon Federal Credit Union’s Carl Strong Memorial Scholarship is an award of $1,000 to be paid jointly to the winning student and the chosen accredited educational institution. Student’s Signature: Date: / / Eligibility: The applicant must be a member of Paragon Federal Credit Union and must be enrolled as a high Parent/Guardian’s Signature: Date: / / school senior at the time of the application. Scholarship funds must be used: (1) only at an accredited educational institution; (2) for tuition or textbooks; (3) for room and board. If applicant is not a Paragon member, they can become a member by filling out the enclosed Generation 2000 application with a $5.00 deposit. Application Process: Application Verification - For Credit Union Use Only Eligible members must complete this scholarship application. A student may submit ONLY one application. I hereby certify that the following applicant is a Paragon member in good standing. 1. The application must be signed by an official of Paragon Federal Credit Union to verify eligibility. CU Official’s Name: Signature: 2. The signed application must be submitted with: An official high school transcript. An SAT/ACT transcript provided by (or obtained through) your high school guidance office. Date: / / The Teacher Reference portion of the application must be completed and signed by one of the applicant’s teachers and returned in a sealed envelope. Tip: Allow sufficient time to acquire documents, transcripts, etc. These may take several days or weeks to obtain. 3. Return the application, transcript and reference to Paragon by the application deadline. If any portion of the application is incomplete or not included, your application will be considered ineligible. Objective Selection Process: Judging will be based both on subjective criteria such as essays, as well as weighted objective criteria such as academic performance, extracurricular and community activities, references and personal goals. Total Application Deadline: Completed applications must be returned to Paragon’s Main Branch or mailed to John O’Malley at: Paragon Federal Credit Union, 100 Paragon Drive, Montvale, NJ 07645 on or before Friday, March 12, 2010 or call (800) 222-8877, ext. 3629 for more details. 2010 Scholarship Form (film):2005 Scholarship form 8/20/09 11:52 AM Page 2 Scholarship Applicant Information: Autobiographical Information: Applicant will not be eligible unless all information is completed and requested documentation is Please provide us with the following information. provided. Please type or print clearly. Use additional pages if necessary. Activities (List only the activities that you have participated in for at least one academic year.) Academic: Name: Street Address: Athletic: City: State: Zip Code: Telephone Number: ( ) Social Security Number: - - Community Service: Email: High School: Anticipated Graduation Date: / / Other: Name of University/College you plan to attend: Achievements Honors and Awards: In 25 words or less, explain why you deserve this scholarship: Leadership Positions Held (Elected or Appointed): Short Answer Questions (Use only space provided) What are your educational goals? Career Goals? Essay Information: Please complete the following essay question. Your typewritten answer must be between 500-700 words in length. Submit your response on a separate sheet of paper. Points will be deducted if What do you believe is your strongest attribute/talent? your answer is not typed. Please provide 2 copies of your essay. Essay Question: (500-700 word requirement) Who is your role model? What distinguishes a credit union from other financial institutions? What services can a credit union offer to assist with your financial needs now and in the future? What is your biggest accomplishment? 2010 Scholarship Insert (film):2005 Scholarship Insert 8/14/09 12:46 PM Page 1 Teacher Reference 2010 Paragon Federal Credit Union 2010 Carl Strong Memorial Scholarship Student’s Name: Date: Dear Teacher, The above named student is applying for a scholarship through Paragon Federal Credit Union. The student will be competing with other students who are members of Paragon Federal Credit Union. Please complete the questionnaire below and return it to the student in a sealed envelope. If this questionnaire is not completed and signed, the student will not be eligible for the scholarship. The student must return all materials to Paragon by Friday, March 12, 2010. Thank you for your cooperation. 1. Participation in Discussion (Self-Initiated) 5. Critical and Questioning Attitude __ Always involved, often initiates discussion __ Often challenges __ Usually participates __ Sometimes challenges __ Often participates __ Occasionally challenges __ Occasionally participates __ Rarely challenges __ Seldom participates __ Not applicable __ Not applicable 6. Depth of Understanding 2. Involvement in Classroom Activities __ Excellent insight __ Very high in all activities __ Good understanding __ Active, usually shows genuine interest __ Some insight __ Mild, politely attentive __ Little insight __ Distracted, does other things during class __ Poor understanding __ Vacillates greatly __ Not applicable 3. Pursuit of Independent Study 7. Personal Responsibility __ Lengthy study and major project(s) __ Always accepts fully __ Considerable study or major project(s) __ Usually accepts fully __ Some study and minor project(s) __ Partially accepts __ Minimal study or minor project(s) __ Sometimes refuses __ No evidence of independent study __ Often refuses 4. Evenness of Performance 8. Consideration for Others __ Consistent, varies no more than one mark __ Always considerate __ Occasionally, varies more than one mark __ Usually considerate __ Uneven, often varies two marks __ Little evidence of consideration __ Erratic, performance fluctuates greatly __ Sometimes inconsiderate __ Often inconsiderate Comments: Teacher’s Signature: Department Phone #: Please Print Name: 100 Paragon Drive, Montvale, NJ 07645 CREDIT UNIONS: A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE What is America’s favorite financial institution? The credit union, according to a nationwide survey conducted last year from the trade newspaper American Banker, credit union members are the most satisfied consumers of financial services. Compared to customers of banks, more than twice as many credit union members reported that they get an excellent deal from their credit unions: higher savings rates, more readily available loans, expanded services, and personal, courteous treatment. What are the basic facts and figures on the credit unions? There are some 18,300 credit unions nationwide, serving more than 50 million Americans. Individually most credit unions are small - about two-thirds hold under $2 million in assets. But collectively credit union assets exceed $100 billion. While some credit unions have moved beyond the traditional services to offer individual Retirement Accounts, checking (share drafts), ATM access, savings certificates, and, other financial services, the back bone of credit unions is still the consumer loan and savings or share account. Most credit unions concentrate on the basics: promoting thrift, often through payroll deduction, and offering reasonable-rate consumer loans. Credit unions operate under state or federal regulation, and virtually all credit union deposits are insured by federal or state programs. How did credit unions begin? The first credit union was started in 1849 in southern Germany when poor farmers, workers, and trade people got together to pool their money, lift themselves from poverty, and avoid unscrupulous moneylenders. Credit unions were introduced in North America by court reporter Alphonse Desjardins in Quebec, early in this century. In 1909, Desjardins was invited to Manchester, New Hampshire to set up the first U.S. credit union, which is still going strong today. Boston merchant Edward A. Filene also enlisted the Canadian’s aid getting Massachusetts to pass the first credit union act. The credit union idea quickly spread throughout the nation. With the passage of the Federal Credit Union Act in 1934, federally chartered credit unions could be formed anywhere in the country. Credit union growth was rapid during the Great Depression. While other financial institutions were closing doors, not a single credit union failed. This demonstrated that ordinary people could organize cooperatively to provide for their own financial security. What makes credit unions different? Their history, structure, purpose, management and operating style, as well as their allegiance toward consumers. Credit unions are non- profit cooperatives owned by the people who save and borrow there. Their purpose: to provide financial services to people sharing a common bond - for example, the place where they work or live or worship. Credit unions are governed by their member- owners. There are no outside shareholders and no profits. Earnings are returned to members in the form of better services, lower rates on loans or higher returns on savings. Unlike many financial institutions, few credit unions charge service fees, and most require little or no minimum balance on interest bearing checking accounts. Nearly 75% impose no fees on these accounts, and the average minimum balance required is only $237.00 (banks typically require $1000.00) Too, only one out of five credit unions routinely imposes holds on deposited checks, and the vast majority cash Social Security and payroll checks immediately. At credit unions, the highest priority is put on people. This means close personal service for all members regardless of the size of their deposits. This also means arranging loans for the jobless, providing credit counseling, encouraging thrift among young people, even helping to revitalize inner-city neighborhoods. For all these reasons, credit unions have always been exempt from federal income tax. What makes the credit union movement different? Just as credit union members are part of a cooperative, so individual credit unions pool their resources to improve services, secure financial stability and achieve efficiency. The movement has a network of special “corporate” credit unions that provide financial services to individual credit unions. This network meets credit unions’ investments needs and liquidity demands and enables even the smallest credit union to take advantage of up-to-date technology. Credit unions also loan personnel to one another when they are shorthanded. Small credit unions may share the same building, equipment and staff to provide the services their members need. Moreover, the credit union movement has a history of solving problems without resorting to federal bailouts. The most recent example: credit unions voluntarily boosted the capital of their deposits insurance fund. This meant transferring some $800 million to federal treasury, an extraordinary self-help initiative, and another indication that the credit union movement is a group apart. More than 90% of U.S. credit unions are members of their state leagues. The leagues are voluntary associates of credit unions that provide operating advice and assistance, education and training and legal and research assistance to member credit unions. Have credit unions change over the years? Certainly, Today credit unions are serving more people than ever. One in every five Americans belongs to a credit union, and credit unions make 15% of then nation’s consumer loans. Changes in the financial marketplace have encouraged some credit unions to offer their members a host of new services from home improvement loans to savings certificates. Changes in federal and state policies have provided fro unrestrained competition among financial institutions and have encouraged credit unions to reach out to new groups, including retirees an students, But in a sense, the more they have stayed the same With deregulation, the decisions about what services to offer., dividends to pay, and loan rates to charge rest more firmly than ever in the hands of the elected volunteers who govern credit unions. Additionally, even though credit unions are offering more services, taking advantage of changes that allow them to serve more people, they still focus on their original purpose - to promote them with consumer loans at reasonable rates, with emphasis always on personal service. CREDIT UNION PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT WHAT IS A CREDIT UNION? A Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution formed to permit those in the field of membership specified in its charter to pool their savings, lend them to one another and own the organization where they save, borrow, and obtain related financial services. Members are united by a common bond and democratically operate the credit union under state or federal regulations. Paragon Federal Credit Union is a federally chartered and regulated institution serving Schools and Multiple Common Bond Groups and members of their families. WHAT ARE THE OBJECTIVES OF THE CREDIT UNION? The objectives of the credit union are: • To protect, preserve, and safeguard the assets of the member-owners. • To offer financial services of high quality at fair rates. • To educate members in sensible money management to improve their financial condition. • To promote the credit union philosophy. WHAT IS THE CREDIT UNION’S PHILOSOPHY? A. The foundation of credit union philosophy is people helping people. Members join together with each other, in a cooperative form and structure, to encourage savings by offering a good return to use collective monies to make loans at competitively low interest rates to members, and to provide other financial services. Credit unions are organizations of people, not of money. This is reflected in the democratic structure, process, and control, including one vote per member, regardless of the number of shares. B. Members are the heart of the credit union. They are the reason for the credit union’s existence. The credit union responds to their needs, and they ultimately control the direction and services of their cooperative financial institution. They can and do bring about change in the services offered by the credit union and the way in which they are offered. The members are the owners and only “customers” of credit unions. Members help one another in recognition of the bond they share in common with their fellow members. C. The credit union motto, “Not for profit, not for charity, but for service.” captures the essence of the credit union idea. While margins are important for economic viability, the credit union puts its focus on service. Service to members is what distinguishes credit unions from other financial institutions. At the same time, however, a credit union is not for charity. As credit union pioneer Rit Bergengren noted in Crusade, (pg. 31) “...we have many fine charity groups to take care of the sick, destitute, the totally disable...The credit union, however, is not organized for this type of service, except as it saves the member from the need for charity.” D. No one person or organization can own a credit union. Only the members own the credit union and they are its only customers. The members of the credit union have equal opportunity to use the services of the credit union, as well as to serve as credit union volunteers, participating actively in its affairs. A credit union represents economic democracy in action. E. Credit unions place a strong emphasis on the education of members to help them improve their economic condition. The well-being of the individual member is the motivation. Member education includes an emphasis on the importance of regular savings, a focus on how the credit union works on the volunteer and democratic process, on the privileges and responsibilities of member ownership, but principally it focuses on alternatives: the education of members as consumers, how members can get better use from their money, and where members can get the best financial services, even if that is not at the credit union. Credit unions are dedicated to consumer/member education in personal financial matters and to providing alternatives to expensive financial services. This public advocacy is reflected in credit union consumer education and legislative stances. F. The members’ ownership of the credit union is represented by shares, which are equity, not debt. There is no separate group of stockholders or outside third parties to whom profits are paid. Surplus, after ensuring reserves, is distributed to members as dividends, reduced interest, and/or through improved service. G. Credit unions, by their existence and success, provide a cooperative alternative that offers useful comparison and contrast to the rest of the financial system. This alternative benefits consumers and ultimately society.
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