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Fun in the Snow

Bank of Lancaster Hosts Virginia's Bank Day


Bank of Lancaster, in partnership with the Virginia Bankers Association, participated in Bank Day, hosting high school seniors from throughout the Northern Neck. Included in the event were: (front row – l to r) Hazel Farmer, Senior Vice President with Bank of Lancaster; Cassandra Hurt, Colonial Beach HS; Stacie Rest, NHS; Aysia Parker, Rappahannock HS; Danesha Walters and Jermaya Cox, LHS; (middle – l to r) Tom Garner, Vice President with the Virginia Bankers Association; Danielle Beach, Essex HS; Rylynn Saulnier, Colonial Beach HS; Zachery Saunders, LHS; Jessica Weicht, NHS; Jesse Walters, Colonial Beach HS; (back – l to r) Doug Jenkins, Senior Vice President & Senior Lending Officer with BOL; Kelvin Mitchell, IV, LHS; Joe Biddlecomb, Branch Manager with BOL; Kevin Stewart, LHS; and Shanice Smith, Essex High School. 

On March 15, 2011, Virginia high school seniors spent the day shadowing bankers across the Commonwealth as part of Bank Day, a statewide effort sponsored by the Virginia Bankers Association (VBA) Education Foundation and the Virginia Bankers Association Leadership Division.  The purpose of the day was to expose students to the banking industry and provide an opportunity for the students to learn about banking, financial services and the vital role banks play in their communities.

The third Tuesday in March was declared Bank Day by the Virginia General Assembly in 1991; and in partnership with the VBA on the 20th anniversary of the declaration, Bank of Lancaster was proud to host 13 Northern Neck high school seniors who took part in this important program.  Following their Bank Day experience, Bank of Lancaster’s participants will join students from across the Commonwealth in writing an essay on the topic, “How Banking Benefits My Community.”  The essays are submitted directly to the VBA, and six regional ($1000) and one statewide ($2000) college scholarships will be awarded to the winning students.

Hazel Farmer, Senior Vice President and Consumer Education Director for Bank of Lancaster, reported “We were very pleased to host our students, who represented Lancaster, Northumberland, Rappahannock, Colonial Beach and Essex High Schools.  A student was also supposed to be with us from Washington & Lee but the young lady was sick that morning and could not attend.  The students spent the morning in the branch closest to their high school.  At 11 a.m., everyone came to our corporate headquarters in Kilmarnock and were given a tour of that facility, also visiting with our Operations Center and our Bay Trust Company.  During the day they not only learned about the importance of obtaining and maintaining good credit and the importance of saving, but they learned about the various career opportunities available in banking, how to complete a job application and a loan application, they visited with Human Resources and learned about dressing for success, about the importance of ethics, privacy and confidentiality.

“We also stressed to the students our commitment to community, not only from a monetary standpoint but how we provide manpower for civic and charitable endeavors.  We call it paying our ‘civic rent.’  We feel our students had a unique opportunity because by visiting a community bank, they were able to see in-house operations.  They were able to see a deposit go from the Customer Service Representative directly to our proof operation and even saw the machine that processes approximately 15,000 statements a month.  They were able to visit with our IT Department, as well as Audit, Security, Accounting, Compliance, Lending, and many more.  The day ended with a luncheon at Indian Creek Yacht & Country Club, where we were joined by Tom Garner, Vice President of the VBA, who also thanked the students for their participation and explained the function of the VBA.  One common thread was heard numerous times throughout the day:  ‘Wow, I didn’t know so much went on in a bank!’  We are in great hopes that one or more of our students will have a winning essay and earn a college scholarship.”

"Bank Day is one of the best short-term, hands-on experiences that a classroom teacher can offer their students," said Judy Sams, Business and Information Technology Specialist with the Virginia Department of Education.  “The opportunity to go inside the bank vault, to watch customer/bank officer interaction, to learn about the many services that banks offer, and to start the networking that often leads to part-time and summer jobs, scholarships, and a start on a career path in the financial world.  When I was in the classroom, my students always participated in this program and returned to class with an excitement and increased knowledge and interest that could only be attributed to the carefully planned and implemented Bank Day.  I am thrilled that it has been ‘revived’ for students.”

In a continuing partnership with the VBA and the Department of Education, Bank of Lancaster remains committed to financial literacy efforts.  “We want to do everything we can,” stated Farmer, “to give our young people the tools they need to reach their full potential and become vital, productive, responsible citizens.  As community bankers, this is very much a part of who we are and what we do.”


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