Inspired by the belief that postsecondary education correlates with greater lifelong income potential, the BECU Foundation awards students its annual scholarships and BECU kicks off its 12-week summer internship program, providing hands-on educational opportunities that stem beyond the classroom.
Working to increase long-term financial resiliency, BECU’s support of student financial health includes:
- This year, the BECU Foundation awarded 80 BECU student members either $2,500 or $3,500 scholarships each to use toward postsecondary degree programs.
- Since 1995, the BECU Foundation has awarded more than $2.6 million in scholarships to more than 1,000 students.
- Earlier this summer, 14 current college students or recent graduates began BECU’s annual internship program, joining teams within the company to gain meaningful career experience while learning what it means to live the credit union’s values.
- Since 2007, BECU’s internship program has received more than 3,000 applications and has employed 180 interns – 65 percent of whom have been hired on as either full-time or contingent staff.
The BECU Foundation awards scholarships each year to qualified student members who have demonstrated community service, as well as academic and leadership potential.
“The BECU Foundation scholarships program embodies our People Helping People philosophy,” Rachel Van Noord, BECU’s director of community outreach and executive director of the BECU Foundation, said in a press release. “Continuing education after high school can help establish a strong foundation for these student’s futures, and we are honored to play a small role in their journey towards pursuing postsecondary degrees.”
Additionally, for the very first time, this year’s class of recipients will be eligible to renew their scholarship over a two-year period – receiving $5,000 – $7,000 in total – to help lessen financial barriers they may face after their first year of a degree program.
The BECU Foundation awarded three Kirkland students with scholarships:
- Ella Hamblin, Lake Washington High School
- JJ Wong, Lake Washington High School
- Andrew Bendokas, Lake Washington Institute of Technology
Going beyond the dollars, BECU also offers an annual career development program where students become an integral part of the teams they work with and within. Each intern is hired based on academic excellence, proven leadership skills, community involvement and participation in extracurricular activities. During the 12-week internship, interns participate in weekly lunch-and-learns with BECU executives, give back to their communities through volunteering, and receive real-life experience in departments such as Communications, Recruiting, IT Systems, Accounting and Lending.
“BECU’s internship program allows students to engage in work that directly impacts our members’ financial well-being and is a strategic pipeline for the financial cooperative,” Kyle Schnell, BECU’s recruiting manager, said in a press release. “Exploring a career that matches their academic and personal interests is invaluable, and we hope this program will not only lead to long-term success, but will also help establish financial independence.”
Interested students can apply online for the BECU Foundation scholarships in January of each year at BECU.org/scholarship. Members must be graduating high school seniors or undergraduate students currently enrolled in a two-year, four-year, or technical college or university, and have a passion for helping others.
Beginning in the fall, candidates for BECU’s summer internship program can apply online at BECU.org/careers.