Credit union trades faith sharing for scholarships

Students from local Catholic schools pray during the Catholic Schools Week Mass on Feb. 2 at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament. (Dan Meloy | The Michigan Catholic)

DETROIT — As part of its sponsorship of the Catholic High School League, a local credit union gave away $18,000 in scholarships to local Catholic school students, with one requirement: Tell the world what Catholicism means to you.

Alliance Catholic Credit Union’s “Live It. Show It. Share It” scholarship contest, open to any student planning to attend a local Catholic high school in 2017-18, asked students to submit a 500-word essay and 15-second video.

Of the 77 entries received, two grand-prize winners were chosen to receive $5,000 scholarships, and eight other finalists received $1,000 scholarships. The grand-prize winners were Nina Biundo of Gabriel Richard High School in Riverview and Lauryn LuMarque of St. Thecla School in Clinton Township.

The awards were presented Feb. 2 at the Catholic Schools Week Mass at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Lauryn, who plans to attend either Marian, Regina or Bishop Foley in the fall, wrote that her faith inspires her to “pray before meals, before important soccer games or tests, and for my special intentions.”

“For instance, whenever someone is giving out directions or presenting a project, I always listen,” Lauryn wrote. “To me, God could be testing me saying, ‘Would you respect me in this manner?,’ so I act like the person speaking is Him.”

Nina wrote that the words of a teacher inspired her to think more deeply about her faith, which she described as “a virtuous gift anchored in the heart.”

“As a young adult, I play many roles. I’m a student, teammate, classmate, daughter, and sibling,” Nina wrote. “My new relationship with faith plays a critical role in the fact that it gives me the patience, prudence, and fortitude that guides me, so that I may play all of these roles successfully.”

Also chosen to receive $1,000 scholarships were Billy Boulus of St. Lawrence School in Utica; Jordyn Coury and Andrew Memmer of Our Lady of Good Counsel School in Plymouth; Anna Getzinger of Lutheran North High School in Macomb; Colleen Hammond of Fr. Gabriel Richard High School in Ann Arbor; Cosette Reece and Kayla Reece of Shrine Catholic High School in Royal Oak; and Morgan Sinelli of Immaculate Conception School in Ira Township.

“Supporting Catholic education is part of our mission,” said Keith Burke, Alliance Catholic Credit Union vice president of marketing and communications. “These young people are such a wonderful reflection of faith. We just wanted to shine a little light on it.”