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May 2024 1st Financial Bank USA Financial Goals Scholarship Winner: Vishnu P.

June 11, 2024

May 2024 1FBUSA Scholarship Winner- Vishnu P.-1We are excited to announce the May 2024 Financial Goals Scholarship winner is Vishnu! Congratulations!

"I am incredibly honored to be a recipient of the 1st Financial Bank USA Financial Goals Scholarship. This scholarship will be immensely helpful as I consider the financial aspects of the next phase of my education. Thank you for this contribution and for the incredible opportunity to help me pursue my goals over the next four years." - Vishnu P.


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

"When I was 8 years old, I stood outside my house with high hopes and a lemonade stand. I served my concoction of lemon juice and a hazardous amount of sugar to any neighbor who passed by, and I spent my hard-earned money ($25) immediately on a new Pokémon game. My financial literacy skills were lacking at the time, but there was no greater feeling than making my own money and spending it myself, without having to rely on anyone else.

As I transition to the next phase of my life, I carry those lessons of fiscal responsibility from that lemonade stand with me every day. The value of making your own money, and spending it wisely, are the two tenets of my journey in learning to handle my own finances. Throughout high school, I have worked to be more financially independent by picking up part-time jobs wherever possible. I have worked as a part-time tutor in reading and math for elementary students, and then later as a debate coach for middle school students. I found opportunities that allowed me to capitalize on my own skills in speech and debate as well as my outgoing nature that enables me to work well with younger kids. This summer, before college, I will continue to work as a pre-calculus and calculus teaching assistant for summer school. Throughout high school, I have worked hard to build my own income and become self-reliant, spending my own money rather than asking for an allowance from my parents. This is a trend I hope to continue in college, as I look to continue my financial independence by pursuing on-campus jobs at UCLA.

Focusing on earning my own money has also made me more aware of how I spend my income. In an effort to become more aware of my spending, I have transitioned to keeping a running list of all my purchases and expenses, and I break down my costs at the end of every month to understand what I am buying. I use this information to reflect on my spending habits and where I might improve; for example, I have learned to bring snacks with me to school every day after noticing that I buy snacks at school several times a week. Being aware of my spending has allowed me to be more intentional with my money, and has improved my financial responsibility by encouraging me to stay conscious at all times and avoid haphazard, wasteful spending.

I do not think I realized at 8 years old that my tiny little lemonade stand could teach me so much. I approach a financially daunting situation like college with the same basics I learned nearly a decade ago — I continue to maintain my financial independence, through part-time jobs and scholarship applications like this, and focus on improving my financial literacy, staying mindful of where and how I am spending. These lessons help set me up for a strong, financially sound future as I head off to Los Angeles.


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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