Great Lakes Credit Union (GLCU) understands that access to education is a fundamental step toward financial success. Earlier this month, the credit union granted a total of $20,000 in scholarship aid to members and member-employees furthering their education as part of its commitment to serve and empower its communities. GLCU awarded eight recipients a $2,500, which they can use the funds for tuition, accommodations, books, or other college-related expenses during their academic journey.

For students to be eligible for the scholarship, they needed to be a GLCU member; planning to attend or currently attending, an accredited post-secondary institution or technical vocational or trade school; and have a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA on a 4.00 scale.

This year was the first year GLCU expanded the scholarship program to include two employees. To qualify for the two scholarships designated for GLCU team members, applicants needed to have been employed at the credit union for longer than 90 days, be a GLCU member, be enrolled in classes totaling more than eight credit hours at a higher education institution, and be pursuing a degree related to the potential advancement of the credit union or the financial industry.

Applications opened on March 1, 2022, and continued through April 30, 2022. Scholarship candidates were evaluated by the Scholarship Committee, comprised of GLCU employees, who diligently reviewed each student’s academic achievements, community involvement, letters of recommendation, as well as the quality of their submission video.

To congratulate the recipients, the credit union held a special reception at its headquarters, where the awardees were treated to a colorful spread of food and drinks, were formally awarded their recipient certificates; listened to inspiring words from Steven Bugg, President and CEO of GLCU, and Stephen Park, GLCU Board Chair; and took celebratory photos with their families.

“We are thrilled to be able to help make education more accessible for members and employees in the diverse communities we serve. It’s rewarding to see GLCU’s scholarship program empowering such bright recipients on their paths toward even brighter future endeavors,” said Steven.

The credit union looks forward to continuing the Scholarship program in 2023 and encourages members to apply for a student scholarship next spring.

Meet the 2022 GLCU Scholarship Recipients

The GLCU scholarship recipients made up a diverse group of students who are each at various points in their academic journey. Ruby, for example, is an awardee who is the first in her family to attend college, thanks to her family’s hard work and support. Even through a cancer diagnosis, her father refused to cut back their family’s budget for necessary college spending. Ruby is expected to graduate in 2023 from Loyola University, in Chicago, IL, with a degree in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience.

Meanwhile, Cassandra, Senior Lead Communication Specialist at GLCU, was inspired to finish her degree at Carthage College, in Kenosha, WI, by her children when they graduated from the same educational institution. She plans to graduate next year with a degree in Business Management.

Another recipient pursuing business is Marcos, the big brother of six younger siblings. Coming from a big household, Marcos said the GLCU scholarship will help relieve the financial burden that the cost of higher education has imposed on him and his family. He’s expected to graduate next year from Monmouth College, in Monmouth, IL, with a degree in both Business Administration and Exercise Science.

Read on to learn about the other 2022 GLCU Scholarship Recipients.

Alexa Mitka

  • School:The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Major:Major: Bioengineering
  • Minor: Chemistry
  • Expected Graduation: May 2023 

Ava Palo

  • School:Butler University
  • Major:Marketing
  • Expected Graduation: May 2026 | Incoming Freshman

Ellie Clark

  • School:University of Wisconsin- Madison
  • Major:English
  • Expected Graduation: May 2026 | Incoming Freshman

Gavin Ghys

  • School:Iowa State University
  • Major:Aerospace Engineering
  • Expected Graduation: May 2026 | Incoming Freshman

Marcos Garibay

  • School:Monmouth College
  • Double-Major:Business Administration
  • Double-Major:Exercise Science
  • Expected Graduation: May 2023 

Ruby Melendez

  • School:Loyola University Chicago
  • Major:Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Expected Graduation: May 2023 

About Great Lakes Credit Union
Founded in 1938 and headquartered in Northern Illinois, GLCU is committed to financial empowerment for you. As a not-for-profit financial cooperative with over $1 billion in assets, GLCU is proud to serve more than 80,000 members in the Chicagoland and surrounding areas. Learn more about GLCU’s accounts, educational initiatives, and community development programs at

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