OnPoint Community Credit Union Supports Local Educators and Communities in Need
The credit union’s 2020 Prize for Excellence in Education program offered critical financial aid to educators in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
The year 2020 was a difficult time for everyone, including teachers and students, who were forced to adapt to remote learning amid the pandemic.
OnPoint Community Credit Union’s annual tradition of recognizing teachers through its Prize for Excellence in Education Campaign helped to alleviate some of these difficulties last year.
The program recognizes outstanding educators throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington for their dedication to positively impacting students, their schools, and their communities. These inspiring educators have their rent or mortgage paid for an entire year by OnPoint, and also receive $2,500 for each of their schools.
Carol Biskupic, a fourth grade teacher at Sato Elementary School, was surprised and thrilled to be honored as one of OnPoint’s 2020 Educators of the Year.
“While it has not been without its challenges, adapting to remote learning has cultivated a sense within us that there is excellence in the field of teaching and we need to honor it,” she said. “What OnPoint’s Prize for Excellence in Education does is elevate teaching to the recognition level that it deserves.”
Biskupic said the award has been a tremendous help for her family during a difficult year.
“After sending three kids through college and providing memory care for my husband, who is battling early-onset Alzheimer’s, we have a hefty mortgage and have had to go through our family savings. The increasing care costs, especially during COVID, was such a worry. The OnPoint mortgage payment for the year has been a huge relief. I am honored to have received this prestigious award in this amazing field, and I cannot begin to thank OnPoint enough for what they’ve done for not only my family, but the entire education community.”
The second Educator of the Year award recipient was Kerryn Henderson, an AP Biology/AVID teacher from Parkrose High School. Henderson had her mortgage paid for a full year and her school received a $2,500 donation. The two finalists for Educator of the Year were Ali Herron, a Kindergarten teacher from Marysville Elementary, and Matt Sten, who teaches modern world history and government at Cleveland High School. They each received $5,000 cash and $1,500 for their schools.
Six other educators were named to OnPoint’s Circle of Excellence, and five schools were honored with Community Builder awards.
Since launching the campaign in 2010, OnPoint has awarded more than $470,000 in prizes to 285 local educators and schools. This year, the highest award, Educator of the Year, will be given to three teachers—one who teaches grades K–5, one who teachers 6-8 and another who teaches grades 9-12.
Making a Difference in the Community
In addition to recognizing outstanding educators, OnPoint focused on meeting its community’s growing needs for diversity, equity and inclusion; education; support of youth; and pandemic relief.
In November 2020, OnPoint announced it donated $1.65 million throughout the year to nonprofits serving Oregon and Southwest Washington, including $75,000 total to three nonprofits: Raphael House of Portland, Transition Projects, and Union Gospel Mission.
The credit union also donated $25,000 to the Urban League, and $100,000 to Meals on Wheels, which provided 14,286 meals to seniors in the Portland metro area.
OnPoint extended its drive against hunger by contributing $30,000 to organizations outside the Portland metro area, including the Bend Food Project, Eugene Mission, Clark County Food Bank, Marion Polk Food Share, and Yamhill Community Action Partnership.
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