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Thursday, May 29, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michelle Rahl
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                       CONTACT: Jan Jenkins, Publicom

May 29, 2014                                                                517.487.3700; cell 517.898.2858





Recipients designate SafeCenter, Red Cross for $500 donations


LANSING, Mich. — College-bound high school seniors Tori Pline, of Pewamo, and Breanna Riddle, of Lansing, have won the 2014 LAFCU “Write to Educate” scholarship contest. In addition to a $2,500 college scholarship, the winners each selected a charity to receive a $500 donation.

Pline received the scholarship to attend Baker College of Owosso and chose SafeCenter for the charity donation. SafeCenter provides assistance to victims of domestic and sexual abuse in Clinton and Shiawassee counties. Riddle was awarded the scholarship to Lansing Community College (LCC) and selected the American Red Cross for the $500 donation. Serendipitously, both winners plan to enter the nursing programs at their respective colleges.

Pline and Riddle won the contest based on their one-page essays on the topic: “What does it take to be successful?”

“Tori’s and Breanna’s essays were inspiring,” said Kelli A. Ellsworth-Etchison, LAFCU’s vice president of community and business development. “Unfortunately, having financial wealth and luxury possessions are often perceived as the primary measures of an individual’s success. These young women have an understanding of success that the judging panel found to be extremely motivational.”

Pline, the daughter of Karen and Philip Pline, attends Pewamo-Westphalia High School. In her essay, she wrote that she works to achieve success by helping others, following through on commitments, and working to achieve her goals, one of which is to graduate debt-free from college.

Making a difference in the lives of others is one of her measures of success and a major reason she chose the nursing profession. She has already logged more than 240 hours of volunteer service in high school and believes that helping others without expecting anything in return is important.

“This scholarship is important to me and my family,” Pline said. “It goes a long way to help me in my journey to become a nurse and have a career where I can help others every day.”

Riddle, the daughter of Karen Gibson-Riddle and Edward Riddle, attends Lansing Eastern High School. Success to Riddle means reaching her highest aspirations and proudest ambitions. In her essay, Riddle recounted that her parents grew up at a time when society set low expectations for African-Americans and there were few role models. She sees her parents as two of the most accomplished and successful adults she knows. They taught her that goals should be personal, based on what she wants and not imposed on her by others.

“Sometimes the most difficult aspect about achieving one’s goals is making the commitment to try,” said Riddle. “For example, deciding to apply for the LAFCU scholarship and dedicating time to write the essay was the hard part. I appreciate LAFCU’s support in making my dream of becoming a nurse a giant step closer.”

Selecting the Red Cross was an easy decision for Riddle. It’s where she obtained her CPR, AED and first aid certifications, and she has volunteered at multiple Red Cross blood drives for her school’s National Honor Society. Riddle admires the organization’s message of promoting community wellness, and believes it’s important for her generation to give back to the community.

“At LAFCU, we have a longstanding ‘people helping people’ mission,” Ellsworth-Etchison said. “We’re excited that, this year, the Write to Educate scholarship program will help two aspiring nurses obtain the education needed to achieve their goals and benefit two charities that help the less fortunate.”

LAFCU expanded the unique scholarship contest this year to award two $2,500 scholarships, versus one last year.

Applicants did not need to be members of LAFCU to apply for the scholarship, but they must have attended high school in the credit union’s service territory, which includes the counties of Barry, Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Livingston, Montcalm and Shiawassee. For more information, visit



Chartered in 1936, LAFCU is proud to be mid-Michigan’s credit union, serving the counties of Barry, Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Livingston, Montcalm and Shiawassee. A recipient of the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award, LAFCU takes pride in bringing value to the financial lives of its members, neighbors, families and community. Offering a comprehensive range of personal and business financial products, LAFCU provides services that include checking and savings accounts, auto and mortgage lending, business accounts and business lending. LAFCU serves 55,000 members, holds more than $580 million in assets, and maintains eight locations throughout Greater Lansing and Shiawassee County. Anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in its designated counties is eligible to join. Members enjoy benefits, such as lower interest rates on loans, higher yields on savings, insurance discounts, preferred seating for LAFCU-sponsored events, and access to 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs through the CO-OP ATM network. LAFCU supports and enriches mid-Michigan by donating funds and employee volunteer hours to many organizations and causes. To learn more about LAFCU’s services, visit or call 517.622.6600.


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