Speech contest puts new twist on scholarships, fin. lit.

February 23, 2015

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (2/24/15)--As members will attest, credit unions not only talk the talk, they also walk the walk when it comes to financial literacy.

Becky Hulett, 121 Financial CU senior vice president; Jolene Stubbings, speech winner; Abby Murphy, runner-up; and William Braddock, 121 president/CEO, at the 2015 Rotary Oratory Competition Finals dinner. (121 Financial CU Photo)

Jacksonville, Fla.-based 121 Financial CU did a little bit of both recently when it became the title sponsor of the 2015 Rotary Oratory Competition, a five-county high school senior speech contest in Northeast Florida that centered on financial education.

The credit union's financial support funded the month-long contest, where students from 25 different high schools gave speeches related to financial literacy.

"It was amazing to hear the well-thought, well-researched speeches by these high school seniors," said Becky Hulett, 121 Financial chief financial officer. "As I mentioned in my presentation at the dinner, many of them could have great futures at 121."

The funds 121 contributed also allowed the winners to receive college scholarships, which ranged from $500 to $4,000. All regional winners received $100 college starter savings accounts.

To host the competition, 121 collaborated with the Rotary Club of South Jacksonville, which contacted 46 public and private high schools. Twenty-five of the schools picked candidates to advance to six regional competitions, and the finals were held during a competition dinner at the University of Northern Florida in Jacksonville.

The dinner was attended by roughly 200 people, including school board members from three counties.