Virginia Bankers Association Education Foundation Awards Carson Wang $7,500 College Scholarship; Awards $26,000 Overall to High School Seniors Across Virginia

Article Monica McDearmon Virginia Bankers Association

The Virginia Bankers Association (VBA) Education Foundation is pleased to announce that Carson Wang is the statewide winner of the VBA Bank Day Scholarship Program (Bank Day). Carson, who is a senior at the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School in Richmond, was hosted by Village Bank to participate in Bank Day. Previously named the Capitol region winner, Carson was awarded a $2,500 scholarship and will now receive an additional $5,000, for a total of $7,500 for his college education.

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. More than 460 students registered to participate with 26 Virginia banks for this year’s program. These participating banks hosted in-person and virtual meetings for the students and provided resources and information so the students could learn about banking, financial services, career opportunities in the industry and the vital role banks play in their communities. Throughout this program, students also had access to a variety of resources from the VBA, including videos, articles and podcasts, which covered industry topics such as banking fundamentals, understanding credit, careers in banking, and banks’ economic impact in Virginia.

Students were asked to write an essay about their experience and thirteen scholarships (six regional, six honorable mention, and one overall statewide) were awarded based on the merit of the essays.

Carson reflected on his time with Village Bank in his essay titled Milk-Bone Dog Treats: A Cornerstone of My Bank Day Experience, saying, “Informative discussions throughout Bank Day truly reshaped how I will manage my financial future and furthered my understanding of how banks support the community. Banks [also] place a heavy emphasis on direct community engagement. Village Bank not only encourages every employee to take two volunteering days per year, but they also fund and serve local non-profit organizations, such as purchasing school supplies for Communities in Schools and building benches with ToolBank. I was especially inspired by their team’s commitment to community improvement, so I shared several volunteering opportunities from a non-profit that constructs wheelchair ramps, in which I am heavily involved. The bankers’ enthusiastic questions about how they could collaborate with the non-profit and help disabled Virginians further displayed to me the dedication and empathy which banks represent.”

“We are excited to award Carson, and all of this year’s winners, with these scholarships. In reading the finalists’ essays, the amount of information these students learn about banking in one day never ceases to amaze me. A key objective of the VBA Education Foundation is to make sure that Virginia’s students are prepared for their financial futures, and it’s clear from these essays that Bank Day is a key driver of progress towards that goal,” said Bruce Whitehurst, VBA president & CEO.

The following students also had winning essays:

  • Capitol Region Winner: Carson Wang, Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School, Hosted by Village Bank
  • Capitol Honorable Mention Winner: Simi Chakravarty, Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School, Hosted by Village Bank
  • Central/Southside Region Winner: Danielle Syrek, Jefferson Forest High School, Hosted by Bank of the James
  • Central/Southside Honorable Mention Winner: Leah Andrews, Altavista High School, Hosted by First National Bank
  • Eastern Virginia Region Winner: Selah Longchamp, Bethel High School, Hosted by C&F Bank
  • Eastern Virginia Honorable Mention Winner: Samuel Baker, Northumberland High School, Hosted by Blue Ridge Bank
  • Northern Virginia Region Winner: Kaeli Rits, Homeschool, Hosted by Burke & Herbert Bank
  • Northern Virginia Honorable Mention Winner: Neal Love, Fairfax High School, Hosted by MainStreet Bank
  • Southwest Virginia Region Winner: Baleigh Belcher, Patrick Henry High School, Hosted by The Bank of Marion
  • Southwest Virginia Honorable Mention Winner: Zane Johnson, Honaker High School, Hosted by New Peoples Bank
  • Valley Region Winner: Nicholas Hayden, Millbrook High School, Hosted by United Bank
  • Valley Honorable Mention Winner: Ashley Truban, John Handley High School, Hosted by F&M Bank

Click here for more information about the winners and a list of participating banks.

Since 2012, the VBA Education Foundation has distributed $270,000 in scholarship monies to 126 students, all while educating more than 3,860 participating students about the banking industry through the Bank Day program. The VBA Bank Day Scholarship Program will take place again next March.

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About the VBA Education Foundation

The Virginia Bankers Association Education Foundation was formed in 2007 with the objective of recognizing the importance of economic education and financial literacy in Virginia and supporting the banking industry as a key participant in these areas. Their mission is to advance personal financial literacy to students in all public and private schools across the Commonwealth. Learn more about the VBA Education Foundation here.