VBA Education Foundation Award Douglas S. Freeman High School Senior $7,500 College Scholarship
Awards $26,000 Overall to High School Seniors Across Virginia

Article Bruce Whitehurst Virginia Bankers Association

Bank Day Seal

The Virginia Bankers Association (VBA) Education Foundation is pleased to announce that Emily Carder is the statewide scholarship winner of the VBA Bank Day Scholarship Program. Emily, who is a senior at Douglas S. Freeman High School in Richmond, participated in the Bank Day Scholarship Program at Essex Bank. As the Capitol region winner, Emily was awarded a $2,500 scholarship and will now receive an additional $5,000 for a total of $7,500 for her college education.

This year, the VBA Bank Day Scholarship Program had more than 520 students participating with 37 banks across the Commonwealth.  The purpose of this experience is for the students to learn about banking, financial services, and the vital role banks play in their communities. Emily reflected on her experience by saying, “Whether learning about the difference between good and bad debt, various types of bank accounts, or how loans and interest are calculated, I gained an appreciation of the complexity of my interactions with the bank. Banks offer numerous tools for me to save efficiently and build credit, but I must prioritize using them. Beyond the mere classroom definitions of these tools, I began to grasp the real-world implications.”

“We are excited to award Emily with this scholarship. A key objective of the VBA Education Foundation is to make sure that Virginia’s students are prepared for their financial futures. After reading Emily’s essay, we know that she is well equipped to succeed in college, and we are proud to be supporting her education financially through this program.” said Bruce Whitehurst, VBA president & CEO.

The VBA Bank Day Scholarship Program began in 1991 when the third Tuesday in March was declared Bank Day in Virginia by the Virginia General Assembly. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many students participated in a virtual Bank Day experience where they had the opportunity to learn about the banking industry, careers in banking, ways to manage their financial future and how banks support the communities they serve. Students were asked to write an essay about their experience and thirteen scholarships (six regional, six honorable mention and one statewide) were awarded based on the merit of the essays. The following students had winning essays:

  • Capitol Region Winner: Emily Carder, Douglas S. Freeman High School, Essex Bank
  • Capitol Honorable Mention Winner: Audrey Cruey, Madison County High School, Oak View National Bank
  • Central/Southside Region Winner: Kelby Bartley, Rockbridge County High School, Bank of Botetourt
  • Central/Southside Honorable Mention Winner: Rebekah Honaker, Lord Botetourt High School, Bank of Botetourt
  • Eastern Virginia Region Winner: Tanner Bailey, Frank W. Cox High School, Virginia Commonwealth Bank
  • Eastern Virginia Honorable Mention Winner: Catherine Fremaux, Peninsula Catholic High School, Farmers Bank
  • Northern Virginia Region Winner: Carter Armand, Kettle Run High School, Sonabank
  • Northern Virginia Honorable Mention Winner: Richard Aguilar, Westfield High School, Burke & Herbert Bank
  • Southwest Virginia Region Winner: Payton Mullins, Abingdon High School, First Bank & Trust Co.
  • Southwest Virginia Honorable Mention Winner: Mary Douglas, Union High School, New Peoples Bank
  • Valley Region Winner: Taylor Moorman, Broadway High School, F&M Bank
  • Valley Honorable Mention Winner: Rodge Reschini, Millbrook High School, United Bank

Since 2012, the VBA Education Foundation has distributed $189,000 in scholarship monies to 90 students, all while educating more than 3,000 participating students about the banking industry. 

The VBA Bank Day Scholarship Program will take place again next March.


About the Virginia Bankers Association

The Virginia Bankers Association represents banks of all sizes and charters and has served as the unified voice for Virginia’s $615 billion banking industry and its 42 thousand employees since 1893. To learn more about the VBA, click here.