Unity One Credit Union is pleased to name Reed Wagner, graduating senior of Fossil Ridge High School, as the 2017 Bob Bennett Memorial Scholarship recipient. Reed’s award-winning essay detailed the difference between credit unions and banks while exploring the philosophical foundation credit unions hold of “people helping people.”
Reed says of credit unions, “What differentiates a credit union from a for-profit financial institution is more emphasis on customer focus, value and community outreach. While a for-profit bank will preach customer service and personal attention in their sales literature, they never live up to the hype.
Growing up, I remember my parents stopping by for member appreciation lunches, taking me to redeem my yearly birthday postcard and visiting on occasion to deposit gift money into my savings account.
I have people at Unity One right down the street from where I live and near my school that can help me with my banking needs. In fact, I can drive 15 minutes in any direction from my house and reach one of five credit union locations.
Unity One is also partnered with my high school and maintains an ATM so that student members can access their accounts without paying fees. I am fortunate that my credit union has a presence at my school instead of a for-profit bank that would charge excessive fees for a simple withdrawal.”
He will receive $1,000 to aid with his college expenses at the University of Texas at Arlington where he plans to major in Mathematics with a minor in Physics.
Reed is an active member of the Fossil Ridge marching band and the Boy Scouts of America. He is also a member of the National Honors Society and has been named on the Dean’s List for the past two years
Nicole Smith and Aidan Broyles, both from Fort Worth, were named runners-up and will each receive a $250 book scholarship.
To be eligible for the scholarship, candidates had to be graduating high school seniors or college students attending a two-year or four-year college or vocational/technical school. They needed to have maintained at least a 2.8 grade point average (on a four-point scale) and be a member of Unity One Credit Union.
The Bob Bennett Memorial Scholarship is a tribute to the life of Robert Bennett, a tireless champion of the credit union movement. He joined Unity One CU in 1954 and served on the Board of Directors until 2002. An advocate of growth and change, Bennett served through five name changes and three mergers. He passed away in December 2002.
About Unity One Credit Union
Established in 1927, Unity One Credit Union is the oldest credit union in Texas. A member-driven and not-for-profit cooperative, Unity One CU served the employees and families of the BNSF Railway for 70 years. However, after transferring its corporate headquarters to Fort Worth in 1998, the credit union expanded its field of membership to include other non-railroad companies, organizations and individuals.
Today, anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Fort Worth, Blue Mound, Saginaw, Haslet, Keller, Colleyville, Bedford, North Richland Hills, Southlake, St. Paul, MN and Kansas City, KS may apply for membership. Unity One CU has nine branches to serve over 30,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™