On July 28 the UW Credit Union’s Community Values Scholarship of $3,000 was awarded to10 students that share the credit union’s commitment to improving its communities.

This is the first year that at least one student from each of UW Credit Union’s eight campus branch locations was recognized, according to the credit union’s press release. Increasing the credit union’s investment in students by 100% from last year, this scholarship was created to help students reduce their educational expenses.

“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,” says Lauren Klink, Associate Director for Special Awards & Student Engagement at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Winners of the Community Values Scholarship demonstrated academic excellence and a strong commitment to their communities through volunteerism, community-centered employment, and school-focused activities. More than 200 applicants were considered. The 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: 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.

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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,” says scholarship winners Jehan Salous. “Feeling less isolated brings about a sense of safety and comfort,”

Half of the scholarship funds will be directly deposited into the students’ tuition accounts first semester and the remaining half will be deposited the second semester. According to Joseph Maddalena, Director of Foundation Relations for UWM, this scholarship is enough to cover $600 worth of textbooks, a Wi-Fi device with unlimited data costing $720, and reduce tuition by $1,680. 

“Today’s students face unprecedented challenges and yet they continue to give back by sharing their time and talent with others,” says 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.”

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