Check cashers’ scholarships to Bronx youth

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. addresses winners of the Financial Services Centers of New York scholarships.
William Alatriste

Four Bronx students were among sixteen academic leaders from all five boroughs and Long Island receiving $40,000 in educational scholarships from New York’s check cashing industry at its 22nd Annual Conference and Exposition.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. delivered the keynote address at the Financial Service Centers of New York/MoneyGram International Scholarship Luncheon honoring this year’s winners.

Bronx scholarship winners were:

First Place ($4,000): Marouane Guidi, Bronx International High School; Avonna Zheng, Murray Bergtraum High School.

Second Place Winners ($2,000): Kenneth Cruz, Bronx Collegiate Academy High School.

Third Place Winners ($500): Clarence Kong, Bronx High School of Science.

Additionally, Richard Kelsky, president of FSCNY member TellerMetrix, donated a laptop to the grand prize and first place winners.

The student leaders were selected to receive FSCNY’s scholarships based on their academic achievements, commitment to community service, leadership skills and perseverance in the face of significant obstacles.

“Financial service centers are part of the fabric of communities across New York State – and we invest to help our communities grow and strengthen,” said Andrew Siegel, president of the Financial Service Centers of New York. “These student leaders represent the best and the brightest in our State and we are proud to support their academic futures.”

Since its inception in 1996, the FSCNY/MoneyGram International Scholarship Program has awarded approximately $677,500 in academic awards to 300 New York State students.

The Financial Service Centers of New York is the industry’s leading voice on legislative, regulatory, and business issues and the leading advocate for the rights of consumers to access basic financial services in New York.

The New York check cashing industry consists of approximately 600 check cashing locations, which employ nearly 4,000 New York residents.

The industry cashes nearly 30 million checks annually with a face value of more than $12 billion. New York has the second-lowest check cashing fee in the nation at 1.98%. Learn more at

Reach Editor Bob Kappstatter at (718) 742–3395. E-mail him at

More from Around NYC