Burke & Herbert Bank 'Bank Day' Student Wins VBA Scholarship
Espeland Awarded $7,500 for Essay on Community Banks
Alexandria, VA, (May 16, 2017) - Sierra Espeland of Colonial Forge High School in Stafford, Virginia is the statewide winner in the Virginia Bankers Association (VBA) 2017 Bank Day Scholarship Program Essay Contest, the VBA announced today. Espeland, who participated in Burke & Herbert Bank's Bank Day program, advanced to the statewide competition after winning the Northern Virginia Regional competition earlier. As the statewide winner, Espeland will receive a $5,000 scholarship in addition to the $2,500 from her regional win.
Espeland, along with other area students, spent the day at Burke & Herbert Bank in Alexandria on March 29. Bank Day participants shadowed branch staff, heard from local small business owners and met with other Bank team members including the Bank's Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Hunt Burke, and President & Chief Operating Officer, Scott McSween. To compete for the scholarships, students submitted an essay on their Bank Day experience to VBA. VBA reported that more than 400 students across the state participated.
In her winning essay, Espeland shared her learnings from Bank Day at Burke & Herbert Bank and highlighted the importance of a strong community bank. "Bank Day helped me to answer the 'why?' questions about building a solid financial foundation for my future, and has given me the tools to now establish the 'how,' " she wrote. She also found the experience of meeting with some of the Bank's local business customers quite valuable in helping her to understand the important role of community banks. "One entrepreneur I spoke with used the term 'relationship banking' to describe his experiences with my host bank. Relationship banking focuses not on how the bank can turn a profit, but how they can interact with their customers to support them in achieving their goals. He emphasized that relationship banking forms one of the pillars our community is built upon, and credits it as one of the primary reasons for his business’ success,” explained Espeland.
"Burke & Herbert Bank is committed to increasing financial literacy, particularly among students before they head off to college and begin to manage finances on their own. We're delighted that our message about the importance of financial education and the role that banks play in the community resonated so strongly with Sierra. We're especially pleased to see her recognized for her essay and doubly proud that her mother is a Bank team member!" remarked Terry Cole, Executive Vice President at Burke & Herbert Bank. Espeland's mother, Nancy Espeland, works in the Bank's mortgage department.
Joseph F. Collum, Senior Vice President, Branch & Business Banking, will present Espeland with her award on May 31 at Colonial Forge High School.
This is the second year that Burke & Herbert Bank has participated in Bank Day by hosting high school seniors at its headquarters in old town Alexandria. Seven students from six area high schools participated this year.
VBA Bank Day is a statewide effort sponsored by the VBA Education Foundation and the VBA Emerging Bank Leaders. Bank Day began when the third Tuesday in March was declared Bank Day by the Virginia General Assembly in 1991. The purpose of the day is to expose high school seniors to the banking industry and provide an opportunity for students to learn about banking, financial services and the vital role banks play in their communities.
About Burke & Herbert Bank
Burke & Herbert Bank, established in 1852, is the oldest bank in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the oldest continuously operating bank in the Washington, D.C. area. The Bank offers a full range of personal and business banking products and services designed to meet customers' banking, borrowing, and investing needs. Burke & Herbert Bank is headquartered in Alexandria and operates 25 branches in Northern Virginia. Member FDIC.
About the Virginia Bankers Association
Established in 1893, the Virginia Bankers Association is the unified voice for commercial and savings banks in Virginia. The VBA maintains an active legislative advocacy program, provides training to bankers statewide, and provides a variety of products and service to help its member banks best serve their communities.
Pictured above: Scholarship winner Sierra Espeland during Bank Day with Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer Terry Cole.