Each year, the MIT Federal Credit Union (FCU) presents the People Helping People Award to a credit union member who exemplifies compassion, commitment to helping others, and a sense of social justice within the MIT community. At this year's annual business meeting on April 25, Nick Schwartz, a senior at MIT studying mechanical engineering, was named as the 2018 winner.
“Even after 12 years, I am continuously amazed at the submissions we receive each year. I love learning about the contributions and positive impacts our members have on their communities,” said MIT FCU President and CEO Brian Ducharme. “I am honored to present these students and members of the MIT community with their awards at our annual meeting.”
Schwartz has spent the last four years at MIT dedicating himself to the well-being of the MIT community through all of his actions, from formal endeavors to his day-to-day interactions on campus. Since freshman year, Schwartz has been a volunteer counselor with Camp Kesem at MIT, a student-run organization supporting children touched by a parent’s cancer diagnosis. This year will be Schwartz’s last year as a counselor, but he was recently accepted to be a camp advisor and will work with the national organization to improve Camp Kesem chapters around the country.
In addition to his work with Camp Kesem, Schwartz has mentored others through the Leadership Training Institute and worked with the Practical Education Network in Ghana. He uses his engineering skills to help others as well, working to develop prosthetic devices for use in developing countries through MIT’s D-Lab. Recognized both for his exemplary character and exceptional academics, Schwartz has recently been named a Marshall Scholar and will begin graduate studies at the University College London in the fall and will serve as an ambassador between the United States and United Kingdom.
Given all that he does for the MIT community, it is clear how Schwartz is able to translate his many academic and personal interests into a passion for helping others. Schwartz has pledged to donate his $2,000 award to Camp Kesem – MIT.
In addition to the People Helping People Award, MIT FCU awarded six $1,000 Memorial Scholarships to support members investing in their education. Recipients were selected based on essay content, grades, financial need, and extracurricular and community activities. The 2018 Memorial Scholarship winners are:
- Dianna Gagnon, of Reading, Massachusetts, who is currently finishing her senior year at Reading Memorial High School and plans to attend Wheaton College this fall;
- Jessica Quaye, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who is currently a sophomore at MIT studying electrical engineering;
- Noam Watt, of Lexington, Massachusetts, who is currently finishing his senior year at Lexington High School and is still deciding between Northwestern and University of Connecticut for the fall;
- Sloan Kanaski, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who is currently a sophomore at MIT studying physics;
- Talya Klinger, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who is currently a sophomore at MIT studying physics; and
- Haley Clemons, of West Newbury, Massachusetts, who is currently finishing her senior year at Pentucket Regional High School and plans to attend University of Maine Orono this fall.
MIT Federal Credit Union was founded as a nonprofit financial institution in 1940 to provide basic financial services to employees at MIT. Today, with assets in excess of $500,000 million, the credit union offers traditional savings and checking accounts as well as lending programs for mortgages, autos, personal and student loans. With locations and ATMs in Cambridge and Lexington, along with mobile and, online banking services, MITFCU serves the greater MIT-Kendall Square communities which includes employees of Novartis (Cambridge), Lincoln Laboratory, Draper, Whitehead Institute, The Broad Institute, Phillips, and Forsyth. MITFCU also serves MIT students (graduate and undergraduate) and alumni. MITFCU is a member-owned, cooperative financial institution whose primary mission is to provide quality financial services that meet the needs of its members while ensuring the financial well-being of the organization.