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2017 Scholarship Winners


Students Awarded More Than $8,000

Congratulations to SLFCU’s essay scholarship winners, and thank you to the 24 members who volunteered their time as judges. This is the 23rd consecutive year SLFCU has awarded college scholarships. Of the 106 applications submitted, 10 winners were selected to receive awards ranging from $250 to $3,000. Students submitted essays describing advantages and disadvantages of borrowing money.

Here are excerpts from the winning essays:

Isabella StarkweatherIsabella StarkweatherFirst Place

“Borrowing money from financial institutions often serves as a lifeline to individuals and families, which is a significant cornerstone in our capitalist society. Some of America’s most influential individuals and companies would not have been able to succeed without access to borrowing money.”

Isabella will attend the University of New Mexico.


Claire PlymaleClaire Plymale – Second Place

“Not only does borrowing money help improve people’s lives, it typically promotes spending, which strengthens the economy. Additionally, it strengthens the financial institution’s lending cycle and earnings.”

Claire will attend the University of New Mexico..


Keana KastKeana Kast – Third Place

“Large and rare expenses like houses and education are unique experiences that may come only once in a lifetime and borrowing some money, even though you’ll have to repay it one day, can certainly be the right decision.”

Keana will attend the University of New Mexico.


Sivan Myers
(not pictured)

“Here’s my chance not only for an education, but for a chance to learn fiscal responsibility and build some credit. Will it be hard? Sure… There will be downsides, but the interest rate is manageable and I already have a plan to pay it back. The opportunities this affords me is worth overcoming the disadvantages.”

Sivan attends University of Massachusetts Amherst.


Matthew SanchezMatthew Sanchez

“Will borrowing money allot the opportunity for growth to an individual that they otherwise would not have been given? Or will borrowing money take the freedom to make more money away, and result in a seemingly insurmountable debt? These two outcomes and everything in-between are possible when it comes to borrowing money, which is why understanding the pros and cons of doing such is imperative.”

Matthew attends the University of New Mexico.


Joel BurgessJoel Burgess

“When considering borrowing money, it is important to always have a clear plan on how the money will be paid back. Borrowing can be a very good thing and encourage growth, but the downside of borrowing comes when the loan cannot be paid off. Buying on credit without the money to back it is risky, but if approached carefully, borrowing can prove to be very helpful in a variety of life situations.”

Joel will attend the University of Arkansas.


Keith WindhamKeith Windham

“One of the greatest personal advantages of borrowing money is for someone to be able to build his or her personal credit score. Anytime debt is assumed, there is a time frame to repay that debt. Paying within the allotted time helps to increase someone’s personal credit score, which can lead to better terms on future loans.”

Keith attends the University of New Mexico.


Joshua WalkerJoshua Walker

“Going into debt is not something to be afraid of if you have a plan to be able to get out. Make this plan before even applying for a loan. Without a plan, we are digging ourselves a hole that could take a lifetime to dig out. To make a plan you don’t look for the maximum amount of money you can withdraw and see what you can do with it like buy a brand-new car, but instead, look at used cars that will allow you to receive the needed transportation.”

Joshua attends Brigham Young University of Idaho.



Ellie RedmondEllie Redmond

“Borrowing money allows people to choose an option they believe is right for them. As long as people are aware of the decisions they are making, and the consequences that come with it, borrowing money can be mostly an advantage.”

Ellie attends the University of Kansas.


Jonathan TyrellJonathan Tyrell

“It is logical that borrowing money is associated with crisis: borrowing money is intended for development, but requires one to achieve their goals for the loan to pay off. Herein is the subtlety of borrowing: to borrow money is to engage in a contract with success. Only when the predetermined goals are met does the loan pay off.”

Jonathan will attend the University of New Mexico


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