Congratulations to the 2013 Student LIFT Award recipients! All three recipients were present for an award ceremony on Monday, July 22 at the Montpelier Branch. Members of the Student LIFT Selection Committee attended the ceremony to congratulate the recipients who each received $5,000 toward student loan debt repayment.
This year the Student LIFT program added a new category recognizing those who were the first in their family to attend college. 2013 applicants were able to apply for one of the following awards: Financial Literacy, Service to Vermonters or First Generation.
The Financial Literacy Award recipient is Sally Blanchard of Burlington, Vermont. Blanchard’s submission was an interactive website providing a simulation of life’s financial choices. The website was designed to provide information to people at different stages of life faced with a variety of choices affecting their financial situation. In response to receiving a Student LIFT award Blanchard stated, “I felt burdened with student loan debt when I finished grad school even though I was able to obtain a good job in my field upon graduation. Receiving the Student LIFT award has lightened that burden, allowing me to start saving money for my future and giving me the chance to pay off my debt sooner.”
The Service to Vermonters Award recipient is Sheryl Rapée-Adams of Rutland, Vermont who was recognized for her volunteer work. “I was moved that VSECU was bestowing an award supporting the connection between college education and making a positive difference in our community”, Rapée-Adams said while describing what this award has meant to her and for her future.
The First Generation Award recipient is Amy Burns of Montpelier, Vermont. With a great deal of gratitude, Amy thanked the Selection Committee stating, “I feel such a tremendous sense of joy and relief to have received a Student LIFT award. The award gives my husband and I the financial breathing room we need to feel secure over the next two years, while nearly halving the time it will take to pay off my student loan.”