America First Credit Union Awards $500,000 Grant to Utah Valley University’s Gary R Herbert Institute for Public Policy


Funding will Support the America First Credit Union Undergraduate Fellowship Program

SALT LAKE CITY – August 22, 2022 – America First Credit Union (AFCU) announced a $500,000 endowment to Utah Valley University (UVU) for the university’s Gary R Herbert Institute for Public Policy. The gift will support the school’s program for Government and High-Impact Internships based in Washington, DC.

UVU says the number one barrier for students applying for internships in DC is the personal cost. Most families cannot afford the significant expenses associated with this type of program, particularly for those living in underserved populations. In addition to their tuition, UVU students participating in the program have additional expenses such as housing and a higher cost of living. The Utah federal delegation pays interns $2,000 a month for more-than-full-time work, while some other internships are unpaid. The need for financial support for the program is evident.

The funding will support the America First Credit Union Undergraduate Fellowship Program. AFCU’s $500,000 gift will allow UVU to send its best and brightest students to Washington, DC, to participate in the life-changing experience.

“Not long ago, Governor Herbert met with our team about the importance of educating tomorrow’s leaders,” said Nicole Cypers, vice president of Governmental Affairs at AFCU. “We talked about the importance of internships in government and how gaining experience in Washington DC can be a life-changing experience for students.  We know this is an expensive opportunity that not everyone can afford. With this in mind, America First Credit Union is thrilled to announce a $500,000 endowment to support UVU’s Herbert Institute interns serving in federal offices on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.”

“With the generous funding from America First Credit Union, interns from the Herbert Institute will gain valuable experience in history and politics as they live and work in our nation’s capital,” said UVU President Dr. Astrid S. Tuminez. “At UVU, we believe that engaged learning is the best way to prepare students for success in work and life. Getting an internship in Washington D.C. without incurring financial burdens is an incredible opportunity for our students. I believe they will be inspired to consider a life and career in public service.”

On average, UVU works to place approximately 70 students per year in government and high-impact internships. 40 student interns work with public policy leaders in Utah, while the remaining 30 spend a semester in Washington, DC. AFCU’s grant will allow the university to send an additional 15 interns each year to high-impact and government internships in DC. High-impact internships have a lasting influence on the lives of UVU students. Merging academic education with the practical experience of an internship currently results in a 10-percent increase in a student’s likelihood of remaining in school and continuing to graduation.



Proudly celebrating 83 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First Credit Union has become one of the largest, most stable, and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 121 locations, and is the seventh largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $17 billion, and the fifth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1.2 million members.


Dave Nellis
America First Credit Union

Kelsey Richardson
R&R Partners