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Summit Credit Union Continues Mission to Further Community Members’ Education

Financial cooperative awards two area high schoolers with scholarships

MADISON, Wis.—Summit Credit Union awarded its 2017 Credit Union Movement Scholarships this week, naming Stephanie Wallen of Waunakee the first-place recipient of its $1,500 scholarship and Jessica Wolenec of Madison the second-place scholarship of $1,000. This award is just one of the many ways the member-owned financial cooperative, which collectively gives over $20,000 in scholarships to area students each year, supports education.

“Education is one of the seven principles of the cooperative movement. As a financial cooperative, Summit helps members with all kinds of education – from financial literacy to student loans. All with the goal of making members’ lives better and our communities stronger,” said Summit Credit Union CEO & President Kim Sponem. “Stephanie and Jessica are exactly the kind of active youth that make a positive impact on our communities. We wish them all the best as they move forward to achieve great things.”

During her time at Waunakee High School, Wallen was on honor roll with AP scholar distinction all four years, while earning first place in both the Wisconsin and Midwest Chinese Speech contests. In addition to extensive volunteering, she was founder and president of the International Women’s Rights Club at Waunakee High School. Wallen will bring that passion to the University of Chicago this fall, where she plans to major in global/international studies with an emphasis on human rights.

“Summit has been a consistent guiding force for my entire family, allowing us to mortgage our house and finance our lifestyle,” said Wallen. “It’s pretty neat how an organization that has helped you so much already can keep impacting your life.”

As a graduate of Madison’s Memorial High School, Wolenec was inducted into the National Honor Society with a 3.83 GPA, while excelling in various extracurricular and volunteer roles. In addition to volunteering at the Spartan Youth Service for the past four years, Wolenec was highly involved with 4H, being named to the organization’s Honorable Mention Record book for seven consecutive years.

“Working with Summit has made me realize the importance of saving for my future,” Wolenec said. “Being a part of a cooperative is really meaningful to me and I’m proud to be getting this award from them.” Later this year, Wolenec will pursue a degree in business at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Established in 2015 in commemoration of its 80th anniversary with industry partners, each year Summit’s CU Movement Scholarship awards two area high school seniors or college students with a parent or guardian who is a Summit member and employed by a Summit industry partner. Employees and their children and volunteers of Summit are not eligible for the award. For more information, visit