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TruWest® Credit Union Donates $40,000 Grant to Mesa Community College First Year Experience Program
By Claire Natale - Tuesday Nov 09, 2021
TruWest Credit Union continues to strengthen its partnership with Mesa Community College and supporting students participating in the First Year Experience program.

The support includes in-kind financial literacy workshops for program participants and
their parents and a $40,000 grant covering tuition and fees.

The MCC First Year Experience (FYE) is a year-long college program focused on
providing first-year students with the services and support needed to successfully
transition to college. Participants must have attended one of six high schools in the
Mesa Public Schools system and may be first generation students or students in need
of additional academic support in English, math and reading. TruWest’s continued
generosity covers course fees and textbook scholarships for approximately 50
participating students during the 2021-2022 academic year.

“TruWest is dedicated to being an integral part of the success of our community,” said
Gary Bernard, chief operations officer at TruWest Credit Union. “We’ve been involved with the First Year Experience since 2019 and have learned firsthand from the students how beneficial the program is to their successful transition to college -- especially when other family members haven’t experienced college. This is why we involve family members in the financial literacy workshops. Including the student’s support group gives additional aid and encourages the college experience.”

From Fall 2019 through Fall 2021 TruWest provided 179 FYE students with 239
Scholarships, totally more than $73,680 and provided stipends for student leaders
serving as FYE ambassadors.

“TruWest continues to be an amazing champion and benefactor for student success at
MCC,” said MCC Director of Foundations for Student Success, Melissa Carpenter.
“Their support provides stability for our students so they can focus on learning. We truly
enjoy our partnership with TruWest and appreciate their continued commitment to our
students and their dreams to achieve an MCC education.”

Learn more about the MCC First Year Experience at

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TruWest® Credit Union is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, and operates as a
cooperative providing its members with a lifetime of quality financial services and a
culture of caring for its members, employees and communities. TruWest is a strong and
sound financial institution with more than 93,000 members and assets totaling more
than $1.5 billion. TruWest® Credit Union has 12 branch locations – eight in metro
Phoenix and four in Austin, Texas. For more information visit

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized as an Aspen Prize Top 150 U.S.
Community College and is known for service learning, career and technical programs,
civic engagement and innovative approaches to education. For more than 50 years, the
college has served as a resource for career readiness, transfer education, workforce
development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 30,000 students annually, MCC
offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses, additional locations and a
combination of online formats. Through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support
Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, MCC is transforming how
it champions student success, college completion, university transfer and career
attainment and advancement. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution and nearly 50% of
its students are the first in their families to attend college. Its American Indian Institute
serves students from the 22 federally recognized tribes of Arizona as well as
out-of-state tribes. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the
Maricopa Community Colleges. The diverse student body includes more than 300
international students from 55 countries. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student
success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to
successfully transfer to a university or compete in the workforce. Located in the East
Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and
Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community
College District. Visit to learn more.

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) --