TruWest® Credit Union gives $40,000 grant to MCC First Year Experience Program

Seven individuals holding a very large replica of a check for $40,000 from TruWest Credit Union made out to MCC. Individuals are, left to right: Christos Chronis, Marcy Snitzer, Dr. Lori Berquam from MCC; Alan Althouse, President/CEO, TruWest Credit Union, Melissa Carpenter, MCC; Gary Bernard, Executive Vice President & COO and Jennifer Kimmell, Senior Vice President & CMOTruWest Credit Union. Left to right: Christos Chronis, Marcy Snitzer, Dr. Lori Berquam from MCC; Alan Althouse, President/CEO, TruWest Credit Union, Melissa Carpenter, MCC; Gary Bernard, Executive Vice President & COO and Jennifer Kimmell, Senior Vice President & CMOTruWest Credit Union. MESA, Arizona -- Nov. 4, 2021 -- TruWest Credit Union extends support of students participating in the Mesa Community College 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, TruWest Credit Union chief operations officer. “We’ve been involved with the First Year Experience since 2019 and have learned firsthand from the students how beneficial the program is in 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, involving their support groups in their experience.”

From Fall 2019 through Fall 2021 TruWest provided 179 FYE students with 239 scholarships for a total of 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

# # #

Media Contacts:
TruWest Credit Union – Claire Natale,, 202-294-5999
Mesa Community College -- Dawn Zimmer,, 480-461-7892

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) --

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit

Source Details

Publication Date: 
Thursday, November 4, 2021