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Teaching high school students financial literacy is TheBANK’s top priority among teens

TheBANK-of-Eville-Spotlight-photo   The path to success is paved by education. That’s why TheBANK of Edwardsville is dedicated, year in and year out, to supporting and helping educate students in Southwestern Illinois.
   Through its various educational endeavors – from hands-on, in-the-classroom presentations to financial scholarships awarded to high school and college students alike – TheBANK’s tradition of providing educational opportunities is unmatched.
   “There is no better way to ensure a thriving and successful community than through education,” said Nikki Turner, community relations coordinator. “We feel that focusing our time and resources on educational initiatives is the best investment we can possibly make in the communities we serve.”
   One recent investment TheBANK has made is through its Financial Literacy Program. Launched in 2011, the program is a collaboration between TheBANK of Edwardsville, the Illinois Bankers Association and EverFi Inc. to bring crucial financial education to high school students at no cost to the schools or the taxpayers.
   Since its inception, nearly 3,500 students in 14 Metro East public high schools have actively used TheBANK’s program while 1,677 students have earned full certification. The program has been so successful, says marketing program coordinator Erin Janek, that the Illinois General Assembly passed a resolution last year honoring the bank and its Financial Literacy Program.
   “It was a tremendous honor to be recognized by the Illinois General Assembly,” said Janek, who directs the bank’s Financial Literacy Program. “But the best honor is when I go to the schools and hear the overwhelming positive feedback from the students and teachers. It’s very gratifying to know that this program and all the other educational programs we have are making a real difference in our communities.”
   In addition to the Financial Literacy Program, the bank also created a Speakers Bureau in which professionals from different departments within TheBANK of Edwardsville visit local students in all grade levels to discuss various financial topics.
   In addition to classroom presentations and programs, the bank also awards several annual scholarships to area college-bound students and helps fund several education initiatives including:
$2,000-per-year scholarships for four years to four area students through the Community Scholarship Program;
$1,000-per-year scholarships to one student from Madison County and one student from St. Clair County to attend Southwestern Illinois College;
Annual contributions to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to fund Student Opportunities for Academic Results, the Need-Based Grant Program and Learning Resource Center Support; and
Annual contributions to CHARACTERplus, a project of Cooperating School Districts which works to advance the cause of character education and sustain its impact on the lives of educators and students.

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