2021 VBA Bank Day Scholarship Program Student Resources

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Bank Day seal

Welcome to the virtual VBA Bank Day Scholarship Program! This page is dedicated to resources for students participating in the virtual VBA Bank Day Scholarship Program. Students will have access to this page from March 15-April 2.

Student participation criteria reminders:

  • Student must currently be enrolled as a high school senior.
  • Student must hold a 3.0 or higher GPA.
  • Student must be a resident of Virginia.
  • Student must attend a high school in the state of Virginia.

Scholarship Amounts: $29,000 Total will Be Awarded in 2021!

  • $1,000 Each for six honorable mention scholarships
  • $2,500 Each for six regional winners
  • $3,000 Statewide runner-up winner ($5,500 total since all candidates will also be regional winners)
  • $5,000 Statewide winner ($7,500 total since all candidates will also be regional winners)

Welcome Message from Scott Harvard, CEO of First Bank, Virginia and VBA Education Foundation Chair

2021 VBA Bank Day Scholarship Program Student Resources

Program Timeline

  • March 15-April 2: Students have access to the Bank Day resources
  • April 2 by 5:00 p.m.: Student essays are due to the VBA. Please see the Essay Information section below for more information about essay submission.
  • By the end of April: Honorable Mention and Regional winners will be announced
  • By May 7: Statewide Runner-Up and Statewide winners will be announced

Essay Information

2021 Bank Day Essay Topic: What did you learn through your Bank Day experience or from Bank Day resources that will help you manage your financial future AND what did you learn about how banks support their communities?

Please remember that the essays are due to the VBA by April 2, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

Essay Planning Document

Essay guidelines

  • Essay must be typed in English within ONE Microsoft Word or Google document (please do NOT submit PDF documents).
  • Please submit your document with the following file name format: “First Name Last Name”
  • Essays must not deviate from the assigned topic. Essay MUST address both parts of the essay topic.
  • Do not use any Microsoft or Google templates or pre-formatting in your document.
  • Essay must be typed in 12-point Times New Roman font.
  • Page set-up must include 1.5 lines spacing with all margins set to 1 inch.  
  • Include a title page (separate page within the Word/Google document containing your essay, not a separate document) with the following information:
    • Name
    • E-mail address
    • Phone number
    • School’s name
    • Name of virtual host bank
    • Date submitted
    • Title of essay
  • Do not include your name or any personal information on any page other than the title page.
  • Essay is limited to two pages (not including the title page or works cited page). Writing beyond this limit will result in disqualification.
  • Those who plagiarize will be disqualified.  All ideas must be your own. Any references must be cited.

Essay Submission Information

Essays must be submitted to the Virginia Bankers Association by April 2nd at 5 p.m.

  • Microsoft Word Documents: submit via email to mmcdearmon@vabankers.org
  • Google Docs: share link or document with vbabankday@gmail.com

You can view a PDF of the essay guidelines here.

Essay Selection Criteria

Student essays are assessed by members of the VBA Emerging Bank Leaders (EBL), the group of more than 500 bankers that connects Virginia’s emerging bank leaders to engage them in the future of the banking industry.  The essays are sorted into six regions based on the students’ home addresses and are reviewed by bankers who do not reside in that region (student names are removed from the essays prior to the scoring process). Those bankers select the top two to be named the regional and honorable mention winners.  The regional winners’ essays are then sent to the statewide runner-up and winner selection panel, which consists of banking executives from across the Commonwealth. 

Essays are scored using the following rubric:

  • Content: 40 Points
    • Adherence to essay topic
    • Logical interpretation of the topic; easy to follow
  • Creativity: 40 Points
    • Interesting and thoughtful presentation of the topic
  • Accuracy: 20 Points
    • Grammatically correct
    • Proper format, adherence to essay guidelines (please see essay guidelines above for more information on how to structure the essay)

You can view a PDF of the essay selection criteria here.

Resources: Watch

Through this series of videos, you will learn more about the banking industry, ways to manage your financial future, careers in banking and the ways that banks support the communities they serve.

The State of the Banking Industry: A Look Back and a Glance Forward

Presenter: Bruce Whitehurst, Virginia Bankers Association

In this video, VBA President & CEO Bruce Whitehurst provides an overview of the VBA and the current banking industry landscape, as well as discusses two of the most challenging periods in recent years – the 2008 financial crisis and great recession and the pandemic – and those periods’ effects on banking. This video will enable to you to better understand the banking industry and issues that are at the forefront of bankers’ mind during this unprecedented time.​

View Bruce’s presentation on the banking industry here.

Banking fundamentals

Presenter: Jennifer Knighting, Oak View National Bank

In this video, you will learn about the different financial institutions, advantages of being “banked”, basic services provided by financial institutions, and ways to avoid common debt problems. 

View Jennifer’s presentation on banking fundamentals here.

View the Banking Fundamentals PowerPoint Here!

banking 101

Presenter: Jamie Covey, Essex Bank

In this video, you will learn about basic bank function, bank structure, and products and services offered by financial institutions. 

View Jamie’s presentation on Banking 101 here.

View the Banking 101 Participant Guide Here! (Microsoft Word)
View the Banking 101 Participant Guide Here! (Google Doc)

Understanding credit

Presenter: Lynda Phillips, Old Point National Bank

In this video, you will learn about the information used to make up your credit score, the importance of a good credit rating, and ways to check your credit annually.

View Lynda’s presentation on understanding credit here.

View the Understanding Credit PowerPoint Here!

Careers in Banking Video Series

Presenters: Nathalia Artus, Atlantic Union Bank; Ryan Eisenberg, TowneBank; Jamie Johnson, Farmers Bank; Nicole Martin, Benchmark Community Bank; Amy Mellinger, Powell Valley National Bank; and Marcus Wade, Bank of Botetourt

In this series of videos, you will learn about different careers in banking and what personality traits, skills and courses support each of the job functions at a bank.

View the Becoming a Banker PowerPoint Here!

community engagement panel

Panelists: Terry Parker, TowneBank; Dale Schuurman, JPMorgan Chase; and Sherry Williams, Chesapeake Bank

In this video, Terry, Dale and Sherry discuss the variety of ways banks across Virginia support the communities they serve. They discuss the industry’s role in financial education, diversity, equity and inclusion, and other partnerships with community organizations. In this video, Terry references the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). To learn more about PPP, see the three-part podcast series linked in the Resources: Listen section on this page. 

View their discussion here.

other video resources

Resources: Read

Students are STRONGLY encouraged to check their virtual host bank’s website and social media platforms for more specific information about ways the bank supports your local community. Consider searching for the bank’s most recent Annual Report or Letter to Shareholders on their website.

Resources: Listen

Understanding Student Loans: Resources from VBA Associate Member College Ave

College Ave logo

Through these videos and blog posts provided by VBA Associate Member College Ave, you’ll learn more about the student loan process and tips for paying for college. 

Videos and Blog Posts:

Other Resources from College Ave:

college ave $1,000 scholarship monthly sweepstakes

As an additional scholarship opportunity, you can enter to win a $1,000 College Ave Student Loans scholarship. They’ll choose one lucky winner each month, so be sure to check back each month to enter! Learn more and enter here.

Thank You to Our Bank Day Virtual Hosts & Sponsors!

Thank you to the following 2021 virtual host banks!

  • American National Bank & Trust Co.
  • Atlantic Union Bank
  • Bank of Botetourt
  • Bank of Clarke County
  • Benchmark Community Bank
  • Blue Ridge Bank
  • Burke & Herbert Bank
  • C&F Bank
  • Chesapeake Bank
  • Essex Bank
  • F&M Bank
  • Farmers Bank
  • First Bank, Virginia
  • First National Bank
  • Freedom Bank of Virginia
  • New Peoples Bank
  • Oak View National Bank
  • Old Point National Bank
  • Powell Valley National Bank
  • Skyline National Bank
  • Sonabank
  • The Bank of Fincastle
  • The Bank of Marion
  • United Bank
  • Village Bank
  • Virginia Partners Bank

Thank you to the following bank sponsors that contributed to the 2020 VBA Education Foundation Annual Fund Campaign. These contributions directly support the scholarships awarded through this program!

  • American National Bank & Trust Co.
  • Atlantic Union Bank
  • Bank of America
  • Bank of Botetourt
  • Bank of Clarke County
  • Benchmark Community Bank
  • Blue Ridge Bank
  • Burke & Herbert Bank
  • Carter Bank & Trust
  • Chesapeake Bank
  • Citizens Bank & Trust Co.
  • College Ave
  • Community Bankers’ Bank in Honor of G. William Beale
  • First Bank, Virginia
  • First National Bank
  • John Marshall Bank
  • National Bank
  • Oak View National Bank
  • Old Point National Bank
  • Select Bank
  • Sonabank
  • Southern Bank and Trust Co.
  • South State Bank
  • The Bank of Marion
  • TowneBank
  • Truist Bank
  • Virginia Association of Community Banks
  • Wells Fargo Bank