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October 2023 1st Financial Bank USA Financial Goals Scholarship Winner: Curtis H.

November 8, 2023

October 2023 1FBUSA Scholarship Winner- Curtis H.

We are excited to announce the October 2023 Financial Goals Scholarship winner is Curtis! Congratulations!

"I am extremely honored and delighted to be a recipient of the 1st Financial Bank USA scholarship. This reward will definitely alleviate the financial burdens that school has placed on me. I cannot wait to pursue my career in business management and follow my dreams. Thank you 1st Financial Bank USA!" - Curtis H.


While you’re in school, you may daydream about the day you finally get to walk across the stage to receive your diploma. Similarly, while you’re managing your budget, you may daydream about graduating college debt-free, starting your own business, or saving a down payment for a home. In his essay, Curtis shares a financial goal he is working toward and why it's important to him.

"Sitting at a red light in my blue, F150 Ford truck. The truck was just cleaned, and the lift kit was finally installed. What an amazing feeling! Having the windows down, blasting my favorite song and enjoying the cool breeze of an August evening with the joy and happiness of achieving my dream truck with my own money and effort. Little did I know how quickly this feeling would be ruined in a split second. Traveling at a speed of 65 mph, and being completely oblivious to what is occurring, a Nissan Altima slammed into the back of my truck.  The impact not only destroyed my truck. The crash slammed my head into the steering wheel at a vicious rate. In a split second, the feeling of accomplishment and happiness to finally have something that you have dreamed of since you were little was scattered all over the freeway. Hitting rock bottom can be a harsh, and unforgiving part of life. Unplanned tragedies can hit you from behind when you least expect them. This accident taught me the importance of maintaining an emergency fund as a lifeline when unforeseen events occur. A financial goal of mine when I graduate from college is to have an emergency fund for when tragedies and unplanned accidents happen.

An emergency fund is a cushion for unforeseen expenses. Having money available for these situations will remove and ease the feelings of stress and anxiety associated with monthly loan payments, interest rates, and the pressure to find a job that will pay enough to get back on your feet. It can also remove the negative effects of debt on your credit record and life goals. Without money in savings, borrowing money at high-interest rates may be the only option that is available and can lead to a cycle of debt that is difficult to break free from.

Being free of the burden of financial debt payments will solidify and create a financial foundation that allows more control over my money. Debt free living will also improve my quality of life by allowing me to focus on funding other aspects that contribute to fulfilling my life plans and helping me achieve my dreams. My goal is to achieve this by setting aside money from each paycheck that I receive and placing it into an emergency fund. This contribution will allow me the financial flexibility and freedom to make important decisions without being constrained by immediate financial pressures.

Although I lost my dream truck, the experience taught me a valuable lesson and opened my eyes to the importance and necessity of an emergency fund. Hitting rock bottom can occur in split seconds and is very unfair and unforgiving. Having an emergency fund to rely on when something tragic happens can provide stability and protection during unforeseen circumstances. An emergency fund can help you navigate challenges of life without disruption to your financial well-being.


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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