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Six Greater Houston Area HS Seniors Receive Smart Financial Foundation Ruby Sue Clifton Scholarships
Monday, August 29, 2016 6:55 AM

Ruby Sue Clifton Scholarship Recipients
2016 Ruby Sue Clifton scholarship recipients (left to right): Sebastian Kopinsky of Bellaire High School (Houston ISD), David Roy of St. John XXIII College Preparatory (Katy ISD), Zachary Hake of Woodlands High School (Conroe ISD), and Sabrina Blum of Lamar High School (Houston ISD). Additional 2016 scholarship winners not pictured include Patrick De Paula of Dekaney High School (Spring ISD) and Victoria Vincent of Lamar High School (Houston ISD).

The Smart Financial Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Smart Financial Credit Union, is proud to announce that six local high school seniors from the Greater Houston Area have been awarded $2,500 Ruby Sue Clifton Scholarships. Recipients of the 2016 Ruby Sue Clifton Scholarship Fund and the high schools they graduated from this past spring include:

  • Sabrina Blum – Lamar High School (Houston ISD)
  • Patrick De Paula – Dekaney High School (Spring ISD)
  • Zachary Hake – Woodlands High School (Conroe ISD)
  • Sebastian Kopinsky – Bellaire High School (Houston ISD)
  • David Roy – St. John XXIII College Preparatory (Katy ISD)
  • Victoria Vincent – Lamar High School (Houston ISD) 

“All six of the students honored this year demonstrated great academic achievement and community involvement throughout their years in high school,” said Tiffany Halfon, director at the Smart Financial Foundation. “The Smart Financial Foundation is proud to provide assistance for the next chapter of their academic careers. This is just another example of how the Smart Financial Foundation continues to changes lives, improve communities and help others achieve their dreams.”

Named in honor of Ruby Sue Clifton, a past chairman of Smart Financial Credit Union, the Ruby Sue Clifton Scholarship Program has recognized outstanding high school seniors each year since 2003 with scholarships that may be used for books, tuition, and miscellaneous expenses. To date, this program has awarded more than $170,000 to help with the cost of college and making the education dreams of students come true.

To qualify for a Ruby Sue Clifton Scholarship, high school seniors submit an online application detailing their academic achievements, demonstration of school leadership and participation, and community service along with three letters of recommendation and an essay. Students must be planning to attend an accredited 4-year college, 2-year community college, or a trade/vocational school. Applications are evaluated by a scholarship committee composed of at least three board members and two advisory council members of the Smart Financial Foundation. Applications for the next round of Ruby Sue Clifton Scholarships will open January 2017.

The Smart Financial Foundation’s Ruby Sue Clifton Scholarship is funded by the Foundation’s annual golf tournament. This past May, more than 100 community members participated in the annual event, raising more than $57,000 and fully funding the scholarships and other Smart Financial Foundation community initiatives for the calendar year. The fifth annual Smart Financial Foundation Golf Tournament is slated for May 22, 2017, at the Blackhorse Golf Club. Registration will open in early March 2017.

Dedicated to changing lives, improving communities, and achieving dreams, the Smart Financial Foundation was formed in 2013. One of its biggest initiatives is providing funds for the Smart Financial Foundation Ruby Sue Clifton Program along with other established local scholarship programs, which help further the education of youth, adult students, and the medical community. The Smart Financial Foundation also supports charities that help children, indigent healthcare, and the educational community.

About Smart Financial Foundation
Dedicated to giving back to communities the “Smart” way, the Smart Financial Foundation was formed in 2013 with the purpose of giving back to communities that Smart Financial Credit Union serves. The Smart Financial Foundation strives to change lives, improve communities and achieve dreams by donating time, money, and other resources to not only individuals but also to organizations that help raise credit union awareness. For more information, visit the website at, call 713-407-1923, or engage with the Smart Financial Foundation on Facebook.