It was a huge day for two local teenagers who each scored thousands of dollars’ worth in scholarship money.
They were surprised with $5,000 college scholarships courtesy of Community Choice Credit Union Foundation.
The winners were Hunter Phelps, a senior at Cass Tech High School and Ben Maleszyk, a senior at Warren Cousino High School. Maleszyk is off to Central Michigan, Phelps will be attending the university of Michigan in the fall.
The schools and credit union went to great lengths to keep the secret under wraps.
"I was nervous because I thought I was in trouble," Phelps said. "I am still surprised right now.
"This scholarship means a lot. It is always great when you receive money for college. I don't want my parents to be financially unstable trying to pay for my college funding. I am really humbled and blessed to receive it."
"I was just watching baseball in the basement and I'm in shock right now," Maleszyk said.
Now as part of this scholarship students must plan on attending a Michigan college or university, must pledge to stay in Michigan after college, hold a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and have a strong record of giving back to the community.
"I just wanted to always make my community a better place," Maleszyk said. "If I can make Michigan a better place, my community a better place, that's all anyone should want to do."
For questions regarding the application process, please contact Foundation Coordinator Steven Hernandez at 877.243.2528, ext. 1978 or email SHernandez@CommunityChoiceCU.com.
Each year, the Credit Union offers high school seniors the chance to win one of twenty $5,000 scholarships. Since 2009, the program has awarded more than $800,000 in scholarships to 160 Michigan students. The key is that the high school seniors need to have a passion for giving back and a desire to stay in Michigan for college and beyond.