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Meet the 2018 Alliant Member Scholarship Drawing winners

Students studying together.
August 23, 2018

By Maggie Tomasek

We received 400 entries for the 2018 Alliant Member Scholarship Drawing, and the five randomly selected winners each received $2,000 to help pay for their college expenses.

This program is part of Alliant’s mission to further the financial well-being and financial literacy of our members and their families. Through the Member Scholarship Drawing, Alliant wants to celebrate the educational pursuits of all of our members and help them achieve their goals.

Get to know the 2018 winners:

Daniel Cospin, San Francisco, California

Daniel is a business administration major with a concentration in accounting at San Francisco State University. He says his career aspiration is to be a certified professional accountant (CPA) for a financial firm or tech company in his hometown of San Francisco.

Daniel has been an Alliant member for 20 years, with his parents opening his Alliant Kids Savings Account when he was 2 years old.

“This scholarship will help me by paying for some tuition and books for my classes. I appreciate any type of financial aid because my parents are paying for me to attend college and are giving me the opportunity to pursue my dreams,” Daniel says.

Valerie Cruz, Glendale, California

Valerie is studying dental hygiene at Lone Star College in Houston, Texas. After she graduates in 2022, she says she wants to try working abroad for a year, which will help her expand her education even further.

“Education is important to me because it’s a stepping stone to a better future and life for me and my future family,” Valerie says.

She’s been an Alliant member for about a year and says winning the 2018 Alliant Member Scholarship Drawing gives her more than just some extra money.

“[The scholarship] will help me not only financially but emotionally, making it a worry-free year for me for school,” she says.

Autumn Dennis, Nashville, Tennessee

Autumn is on track to receive her Master of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary in 2020. She says her father helped her understand from a young age the importance of education. 

“My father was the first in his family to graduate college after working four jobs to make it happen,” Autumn says. “He taught me that education opens so many doors of possibility in one’s life; I have always had a passion for learning and study, and love the opportunity to learn more about people and the world around me.”

Autumn plans to pursue a career as a pastor, and she says the scholarship from Alliant will help her service others with reduced financial debt and stress.

Audrey Malerich, Kiowa, Colorado

Audrey is a senior at Florida Southern College, where she is studying elementary education. After she graduates in May 2019, she says she hopes to become a dyslexia specialist or professional advocate for students with learning disabilities.

“As a future educator, I can only hope that I can teach the importance of education to my students and teach them how they can become successful and make a difference in the world,” Audrey says.

Since joining Alliant in 2015, Audrey says the credit union has helped her become a financially responsible adult. And she says she’s able to pay forward that financial knowledge as the treasurer of her college’s chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi.

Bailey Moran, Littleton, Colorado

Bailey is studying mechanical engineering at Metro State University in Denver. He says he wants to pursue a career as a mechanical engineer so he can better his community.

“To keep going anywhere, a person needs a good education,” Bailey says.


Maggie Tomasek is the Social Media & PR Specialist at Alliant. She began her career as a journalist for newspapers in Utica, N.Y., Des Moines and Cincinnati before moving to Chicago in 2009. Maggie is a seven-time Chicago Marathon finisher and a lifelong creative writer with a passion for comedy. Her mom instilled in her a great sense of fiscal responsibility, and her big sister told her to throw that responsibility out the window every once in a while in the name of life experience. So far, that combination of financial advice has worked out pretty well for her.