Area high school seniors take part in Bank Day

Austin Schlenter, 18, of Strasburg, listens as First Bank's CFO Shane Bell speaks Tuesday during Bank Day, held at First Bank's Operations Center in Strasburg. Twenty-one area high school seniors participated in the event. Rich Cooley/Daily
Shane Bell, vice president/CFO of First Bank, speaks to a regional group of high school seniors during Bank Day held Tuesday at First Bank's Operations Center in Strasburg. Rich Cooley/Daily
Shane Bell, vice president/CFO of First Bank, speaks to a regional group of high school seniors during Bank Day held Tuesday at First Bank's Operations Center in Strasburg. Rich Cooley/Daily
Central High School senior Julia Romero, 18, of Woodstock, listens as First Bank CFO Shane Bell speaks during Bank Day on Tuesday. Rich Cooley/Daily
Shane Bell, vice president/CFO of First Bank, shows some financial Web pages to a regional group of high school seniors Tuesday during Bank Day held at First Bank's Operations Center in Strasburg. Rich Cooley/Daily

STRASBURG – First Bank in Strasburg hosted an educational workshop Tuesday for local high school students in commemoration of Bank Day. Students learned everything from how banks function to how to manage money.

Attending the workshop were seniors from six area high schools. All met criteria for participating, including a minimum 3.0 grade point average. Students were hand-selected mostly from finance and accounting classes, and career ambitions ranged from forensic accounting to constitutional law.

Presentations were given by First Bank executives and included an industry overview, proper management of personal finances and best practices and preparation for interviews. Students in attendance used the workshop as a way of better understanding the role of banks in a community.

“I really learned how banks really impact the community, not just in the traditional ways like loans, but also within things like education,” said Ashley Heuser, a senior at Millbrook High School in Frederick County, who plans to attend the University of Virginia this fall and pursue a career in law. Heuser sees a financial education benefiting her in the future. “Lawyers have to deal with lots of different categories of cases, so having a background in finance will help me with certain cases,” she said.

First Bank President and COO Dennis Dysart echoed Heuser’s sentiment.

“We believe banks impact the community in numerous ways beyond serving as a financial intermediary, including our commitment to financial education, volunteerism and leadership,” Dysart said. “First Bank employees, like many bankers throughout the state, donate their time, energy and financial resources to numerous non-profits and charities to build better communities.”

This charitable work is a goal not only for management employees, said Doug Arthur, chairman of the board for First Bank. It is a company-wide commitment that extends from tellers to board members.

“We try, as board members, to do the very best we can to set a strategy that works for our community and a strategy that works for our bank … management develops the means, the ways the techniques to determine how we get to where we want to be – making a profit legitimately and properly and being a solid member of the community you serve,” Arthur said. “Even what’s going on today is an example of a community bank serving the community.”

Dysart agreed: “At the end of the day, we hope they each learned something regarding personal finance and have a better understanding of banking, particularly community banking.”

The students that attended will put their knowledge to use in the form of an essay contest. Six regional contest winners will earn a $2,000 scholarship, and one statewide winner will earn $4,000. Honorable mentions will receive scholarships of $500.

Visit http://www.vabankers.org/bank-day-scholarship-program for more information.

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com

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