carly riggen one cu scholarship

Carly Riggen (far left) and a staff member of One CU (right) hold the big, ceremonial check.

An Essex High School (EHS) senior recently had an unexpected guest show up to her house--her visitors bringing balloons, flowers, and a giant ceremonial check.

Carly Riggen received the unforeseen drop-in by staff from One Credit Union who stopped by to let her know she’d be selected as one of its seven 2020 scholarship winners. She intends to put the $1,000 towards tuition at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the fall.

“I was surprised and excited to receive this scholarship, and I am very grateful for the award!” Riggen exclaimed.

To be eligible for the scholarship, students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and submit a 300 word essay explaining their experience with teamwork and community building.

“Carly is a strong, independent learner, while offering insightful ideas that helped her classmates learn,” said Adam Weiss, Riggen’s advanced biology teacher at EHS this year. “She worked hard to rise to intellectual challenges, setting a positive example always. Carly has an impressive work ethic that powers her impressive academic achievements. She is unquestionably deserving of this scholarship.”

Riggen, who was on the Essex High field hockey team and worked for the Big Little program at her former elementary school, intends to study psychology at UMass.

“All of these students have demonstrated their commitment to community in notable ways,” said Brett Smith, president and CEO of One Credit Union. “As they continue to invest themselves in their collegiate experiences, we are proud to invest back in them. The dividends will return to all of us!”

Other Vermont winners of the award hail from Chester, Springfield, and Barre while another two are from New Hampshire. A complete video of each winner being surprised can be found at

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