In the spirit of its former leader, Alliance Credit Union is helping two local students further their education.
Alliance recently awarded $2,000 scholarships to Isaac Bear Early College High School senior Aaron Johnson and Niquitta Corbett, who currently attends Cape Fear Community College.
Since 1997, Alliance has honored the memory of Rose M. Ratka, the bank’s president and CEO from 1978 to 1996, through the annual scholarships. Described on Alliance’s website as an “astute businesswoman,” Ratka maintained a strong belief in the power of higher education.
Recipients are chosen because they have proven their commitment to academic achievement, and also serve as active volunteers and leaders within their communities and schools.
“Scholarships are awarded to students who best exemplify her courage, spirit and dedication,” according to a release.
In years past, the scholarships were open to college-bound high school seniors but a Wilmington Alliance Credit Union spokeswoman said this time around, it was opened up for the first time to students already enrolled in community college or a vocational education program.
Johnson has plans to attend East Carolina University in the fall and Corbett is majoring in medical office administration. They were celebrated Thursday during a presentation banquet attended by their families and friends at the Racine Financial Center.
Funds are paid directly to a winner’s continuing education track of choice, where it be a trade school, apprenticeship program, community college, state university or private institution and are reserved for tuition, books, school supplies and related needs.
In addition to the two Wilmington winners, $2,000 scholarships were awarded to six students in the credit union’s northern California operating territory. It’s where Alliance first got its start back in 1952, when a small group of General Electric employees founded the member-owned financial cooperative.
The credit union now serves more than 40,000 members in six counties–three in California, as well as New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick.