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NEWS RELEASES 2004-05 :: DECEMBER 1, 2004


The State Employees' Credit Union (SECU) Foundation today announced a major new scholarship program that will provide a four-year college scholarship to a graduating senior from each of the 341 public and two charter high schools in North Carolina. The announcement of the SECU Foundation's "People Helping People" High School Scholarships was made at the N.C. State Board of Education's December meeting in Raleigh.

The 341 four-year scholarships will be awarded for study at one of the 16 constituent campuses of the University of North Carolina. The scholarships are valued at $10,000 each. Each North Carolina high school will receive one scholarship, representing a financial commitment of $7 million over the first two years of the scholarship program.

Funding for the Foundation scholarships has come from SECU's members, whose $1 monthly credit union checking account maintenance fee is being routed to the Foundation. State Employees' Credit Union is a member-owned, non-profit financial cooperative. Each SECU member was given the option to participate in the funding of the new SECU Foundation during the summer of 2004. Over 99% of SECU members responded favorably in support of the SECU Foundation. Funding for the scholarships by the SECU membership is a hallmark of a cooperative and supports the traditional credit union philosophy of "People Helping People."

"This is a powerful incentive for high school students," said State Board of Education Chairman Howard Lee. "Students at every high school in North Carolina have the opportunity to compete for this scholarship. The Board thanks the members of SECU and the SECU Foundation for focusing its philanthropy on public education and on North Carolina high school students."

"In keeping with the 'People Helping People' credit union philosophy, SECU's members, via the Foundation, are helping local students further their education through North Carolina's university system. It is with great pleasure that collectively we - the Credit Union membership - can help so many of our State's students through this program," stated Tom King, Chairman of the SECU Foundation Board.

Dr. Jim Merrill, Chairman of SECU's Board of Directors commented, "State Employees' Credit Union's members continue to have a positive statewide impact on North Carolina's education system by providing scholarships for every public and charter high school in North Carolina. Our members are investing in their communities and their State - a commitment of tremendous scope and importance.

The "People Helping People" High School Scholarships will be awarded for the first time to students entering a UNC institution in the fall of 2005. Preference will be given to public sector employees and their families who work in state and local government agencies. Recipients in good academic standing will continue to receive their scholarship for a maximum of eight consecutive academic semesters.

Recipients of the scholarships will be selected at the local high school level. Application details and other information will be available through local school systems by the end of January, 2005.

About SECU and the SECU Foundation

SECU is a non-profit financial cooperative owned by its members. With more than $12 billion in assets and over 1.2 million members, SECU is the second-largest credit union in the United States. SECU provides services to members through 174 branch offices, over 800 ATMs, a call center and a Web site, The SECU Foundation, a 501c (3) charitable organization approved by the Internal Revenue Service, promotes local community development primarily through high impact projects in the areas of education, health and human services.

About the State Board of Education and Department of Public Instruction

The State Board of Education is a 13-member Board that sets policies and standards for North Carolina public schools, pre-k through 12th grade. The State Board consists of 11 members appointed by the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor and the State Treasurer. The Department of Public Instruction is the state agency administering the Board's policies and providing leadership and service to 115 local school districts and 98 charter schools educating approximately 1.3 million students. More information about the Board and DPI is available at

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.