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April 2024 1st Financial Bank USA Financial Goals Scholarship Winner: Stephanie D.

May 14, 2024

April 2024 1FBUSA Scholarship Winner- Stephanie D.We are excited to announce the April 2024 Financial Goals Scholarship winner is Stephanie! Congratulations!

"I am deeply honored and grateful to be selected as a winner of the 1st Financial Bank USA Financial Goals Scholarship. This scholarship will greatly support my pursuit of academic and financial goals, and I am excited to use it to further my education and investment in my future. Thank you for this incredible opportunity." - Stephanie D.


Graduating from college is a dream for many students. Yet, the costs associated with higher education can be challenging. In her essay, Stephanie shares which financial resources she plans to use to finance her education and what she has learned about financial responsibility in college.

"Attending the Colorado School of Mines has always been a major goal for me, renowned for its rigorous engineering programs and preparation for professional success. However, with high aspirations comes the reality of high costs. Determined to finance my education independently, I've created a four year plan approach, including scholarships, part-time jobs, and financial planning, to not only meet these expenses but also to learn valuable life lessons in financial responsibility.

To begin with, scholarships have been a main strategy to fund my college education. I have secured a couple of scholarships through competitive applications that required thorough preparation and persistent effort. Although these scholarships don’t cover all my expenses, they reduce some of the financial load, allowing me to focus more on my studies rather than financials. The process of applying for these scholarships taught me the importance of self-advocacy skills that are invaluable in both academic and professional scenarios.

Working part-time has also been crucial in my financial strategy. For the past three years, I have worked at a private country club snack shack during the summers. This job has not only provided me with a steady income but has also instilled in me a strong work ethic and the ability to manage money wisely. Each summer, I've learned more about handling finances, customer service, and the importance of hard work. Each year as I have worked and gained experience, I have gained important roles within my position. My earnings from this job are primarily directed toward my tuition fees and supplies, teaching me the discipline of budgeting and the significance of saving. I have also taken up a role as a Nanny, which adds to my summer earnings. Being in charge of two boys comes with a lot of responsibility, knowledge, and patience.  Managing the well-being of children has enhanced my organizational skills, as I have to plan activities, manage schedules, and often multitask to balance homework and job responsibilities.

Being financially independent has taught me to plan ahead, anticipate future expenses, and prepare for them. These experiences have laid a solid foundation for future financial planning. Overall, paying for college on my own has been both challenging and rewarding. It has pushed me to develop and hone skills that go beyond the classroom, including financial strategy, strategic planning, and personal accountability. Each financial decision has been a stepping stone in learning how to sustainably manage finances, ensuring that I am not just preparing for a successful career but also for a financially secure future.


Established in the year 1910, 1st Financial Bank USA (1FBUSA) provides quality community banking services in South Dakota, credit card and other financial services to college students and college graduates, and construction lending to builders, developers, and investors from coast to coast. 1FBUSA will award a $2,000 scholarship to a new winner each month. View full rules and eligibility at


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