First Trust Credit Union Awards $5,000 in Scholarships in 2017

By: First Trust Credit Union Last Updated: July 19, 2017

First-Trust-Credit-Union-Awards-5000-in-Scholarships-2017_01 First Trust Credit Union is proud to have awarded five $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors at high schools in LaPorte, Porter and Jasper Counties. The First Trust Bachelor’s Degree Scholarship and Apprenticeship, Certification, or Associates Program Scholarship winners were chosen based on their enrollment in an accredited institution for post high school education or training, scholastic achievement, involvement in high school and community activities, essay and a letter of recommendation from a teacher.

A LaPorte county scholarship winner of $1,000, Scott Cooper, son of Gregory and Brenda Cooper, is a 2017 graduate of LaPorte High School. Scott will be attending Grand Valley State University this fall, where he will be pursuing a degree in Pre-Law. During his years at LPHS, Scott participated in multiple extra-curricular activities, earned Principal’s Honor Roll, and maintained a consistent 3.44 grade point average. Through his participation as Team Captain of the Varsity Football team and Senior Leader for the LPHS Men’s basketball team, he was chosen to be on the Student Athletic Council. Scott was actively involved with National Honor Society and was First Chair Violin with the LPHS Symphony Orchestra. He was an active member of the community by volunteering his time at a Basketball Youth Camp for elementary aged children, refereeing Pop Warner Football games, and has spent the past three years with the Salvation Army organization.

First-Trust-Credit-Union-Awards-5000-in-Scholarships-2017_02 A $1,000 scholarship recipient from Jasper County, Wheatfield native, is Ted Tobias. Ted is the son of Steve and Sue Tobias and is a 2017 graduate of Kankakee Valley High School. Ted plans to pursue a major in Chemistry from Purdue University – West Lafayette beginning this fall. He was a member of the Academic Decathlon and President of the National Honor Society. Ted challenged himself academically and pursued tackling Advanced Placement courses in English, Calculus and Chemistry, all the while maintaining a 4.47 grade point average. His service to the community ranged from mentoring high school freshmen, to serving his Church and working at the local food pantry monthly for the last six years. Ted also was a member of the Varsity Golf team and participated in the Scripps National Spelling Bee throughout his high school career.

First-Trust-Credit-Union-Awards-5000-in-Scholarships-2017_03 Our Porter County $1,000 scholarship recipient was Mikinna Garzella. Mikinna is the daughter of Tom and Jami Garzella and is a 2017 graduate of Portage High School. Mikinna will be attending Purdue University – West Lafayette this fall, where she will be pursuing a degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Mikinna was involved in the National Honor Society for two years, the National Society of High School Scholars, and World Languages Honors Society, all the while maintaining a 4.4 grade point average. She served as Captain of the Science Academic Team, Secretary of the Interact Club, and received 2nd place in Math at the Academic Superbowl. Mikinna also has been ranked academically as one of the Top 30 students every year from her freshmen to senior year at Portage High School.

First-Trust-Credit-Union-Awards-5000-in-Scholarships-2017_04 First Trust awarded two $1,000 scholarships to Michigan City High School graduating seniors for a Bachelor’s Degree and Apprenticeship, Certification, or Associates Degree. Rishi Verma, is the son of Srawan and Vishakha Verma. Rishi is a 2017 graduate of Michigan City High School and will be attending Purdue University this fall, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Maintaining a 4.0 grade point average, Rishi was active as the Vice President of the National Honor Society, receiving Principal’s Honor Roll all 4 years at MCHS and the recipient of the Alpha Award in Science and Technical Education. He also spent months implementing, designing and constructing a Sensory Room for Special Needs Students for Michigan City High School.

First-Trust-Credit-Union-Awards-5000-in-Scholarships-2017_05 Pauline Lutton, a Michigan City resident, daughter to Frank and April Lutton, also received $1,000. Pauline is a 2017 graduate of Michigan City High School and plans on attending Ivy Tech Community College to pursue a Technical Certificate in Energy Technology. Her future professional goals are to become an Electrical Engineer and open her own business. Pauline has been a member of National Honor Society and Technical Honor Society, all the while maintaining a 3.42 grade point average. Pauline was an active participant of the MCJROTC all 4 years of high school, working her way from Cadet Sergeant to Company Executive Officer, which held her as second in command. She was also involved with the Marksmanship Team of the MCJROTC. Pauline also volunteered her time with the Salvation Army Stuff-a-Bus program for 4 years and the Dunebrook Dragon Boat Races.

$8,000 in Scholarship Applications will be available to 2018 graduating seniors this fall. $4,000 will be awarded for students pursuing a traditional four degree, with an additional $4,000 available for graduating seniors pursuing an Apprenticeship, Certification, or Associates Program that does not require a four-year degree. Applications can be picked up at school guidance offices, or downloaded from the First Trust website at For further information contact Joyce Yech at (219) 877-2305, or via e-mail to