Write to Dream Contest is Empowering Local Youth

St. Louis, MO – “It is difficult to dream when there is no food in the home, and illnesses or addictions run rampant in the family,” said VaNetta Clark, Aspire Academy teacher.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), awarded their quarterly Community Grant to their member, Ms. Vanetta Clark to support her efforts to strengthen the community through education.

Ms. Clark, a teacher at Aspire Academy and a member at 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, not only impacts her student’s lives daily in the classroom, but she also facilitates the Write to Dream contest. This writing contest is a bi-annual contest that is open to all of the students at Aspire Academy.

Once the entries have been submitted, with the help of a panel, Ms. Clark picks 25 students and treats them to a dream day outing including lunch at exquisite restaurant and ride in a limousine. While they are out they talk to the students about their future dreams.

“As an educator, author, and visionary it is my desire to sow seeds of greater possibility within the minds of our youth. As a teacher, I am well acquainted with the adversity each student encounters on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the cycle is repeated in many cases,” said Ms. Clark.

“The Write to Dream contest is designed to teach youth how to dream beyond their immediate surrounding. In addition, the program is a call-to-action for those invested in the success of our youth and the individuals willing to look beyond the current state of our city into greater possibility and to recognize our ability to create the outcome we desire.”

1st Financial Federal Credit Union awarded Aspire Academy a Helping People 1st Grant in the amount of $500. This grant allows the school and Ms. Clark to continue to facilitate the Write to Dream contest.Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

“We love what Ms. Clark is doing in our community,” said Tracy Verner, Community Development Manager at 1st Financial Federal Credit Union. “She allows students to dream, to be creative, and to learn in her classroom and we are honored that Ms. Clark is also a 1st Financial member. Together, we are empowering kids to learn, to write and, above all else, to dream big.”

At 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, we believe education is one of the fundamental foundations to achieving financial freedom no matter how young you are. For more information about 1st Financial visit www.TheBetterWayToBank.org.

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Like all credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, financial cooperative. 1st Financial Federal Credit Union was chartered on September 3, 1968 as District 837 Credit Union by the International Association of Machinist members employed by McDonnell Douglas. Today, with over 30,000 members and over $220 million in assets, 1st Financial is a St. Louis metro area financial institution dedicated to helping members achieve their financial dreams. For over 45 years 1st Financial has provided members with a full line of dependable financial products and services which returns profits to the members in the form of lower rates on loans and higher savings yields. The cooperative nature of credit unions enables 1st Financial to provide products and services at very reasonable rates.


1st Financial Federal Credit Union serves those who live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly conduct business in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County, Missouri and a wide array of companies throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. 1st Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial organization committed to providing quality services to the membership while demonstrating safe and sound business practices. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government.