First Trust Credit Union Awards Scholarships to Valparaiso Seniors in 2018

First-Trust-Credit-Union-Awards-Scholarships-to-Valparaiso-Seniors-in-2018First Trust Credit Union is proud to have awarded seven $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors at high schools in LaPorte, Porter and Jasper Counties. First Trust offers Bachelor’s Degree scholarships, and scholarships for seniors pursuing an Apprenticeship, Certification, or Associates Program. Scholarship winners are chosen based on their enrollment in an accredited institution for post secondary education or training, scholastic achievement, involvement in high school and community activities, an essay, and a letter of recommendation from a teacher.

First Trust’s Valparaiso branch awarded one $1,000 scholarship to a Washington Township High School graduating senior, Joseph Funk. Funk is the son of Andrew and Jennifer Funk.

Funk plans on attending Purdue Polytechnic in South Bend, IN. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. He has a passion for taking things that are broken and “making them work again”. He has an impressive list of accomplishments including 4 years on the First Robotics Team of Michigan City (Rookie of the Year in 2015), 4-H Washington Whiz Kids, Track and Field Team (Shot Put & Discus), and numerous awards for electrical projects through 4-H and also Indiana State. In addition, he has been actively involved in community service projects such as the building of the sensory room for special needs students at MCHS, mentoring students and volunteering at “Camp Invention”, and representing the robotics team at “Made in LaPorte County”.

Additional $1,000 scholarship winners for 2018 included: Abigail Zila of LaPorte High School, daughter of Scott and Tricia Zila; Hailey Meyers of Westville High School, daughter of Jason and Crystal Meyers; Madelyn Gondeck of Michigan City High School, daughter of Tim Gondeck and Michele Passmore; Nicholas Raymond of Kankakee Valley High School, son of Nick and Deena Raymond; Gavin Tillema of Kankakee Valley High School, son of Richard and Misty Tillema; and Payton Ritchie of Kankakee Valley High School, daughter of Mark and Jenelle Ritchie, was the recipient of a one time Arnold Bass education scholarship for a student pursuing a teaching degree.

$8,000 in Scholarship Applications will be available to 2019 graduating seniors this fall. $4,000 will be awarded for students pursuing a traditional Bahelor’s 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 Dana Koselke, Human Resources Director, at (219) 877-2305, or via e-mail at