16 June 2015
Financial Education Volunteers: Helping Nevada Communities

As the state’s oldest and largest state-chartered bank, Nevada State Bank takes very seriously our responsibility to provide financial education to the communities we serve. Each year, our colleagues volunteer to teach classes to school children and adults on topics ranging from budgeting and saving money, to preventing identity theft and using credit wisely.

On June 12, the bank recognized 81 colleague volunteers from Southern Nevada at our annual Financial Literacy Volunteer Recognition luncheon. From June 2014 through May 2015, they taught 692 classroom hours through Junior Achievement®, Nevada State Bank’s “Banking on Your Future” program, and Get Smart About Credit and Teach Children to Save® (both programs of the American Bankers Association®). Our outreach to the small business community included 138 hours through collaborations with SCORE and Business Opportunity Workforce Development (BOWD). Fifty-five colleagues who taught four or more classes received special recognition for their efforts.

Several community organizations attending the luncheon described the benefits their clients receive from these financial literacy programs. Brandi Lopez, Director of Life Skills and Education for The Shade Tree shelter, said many of the women in the shelter, especially victims of domestic violence, have no experience in handling money and may never have had a credit card or checking account. “The classes taught by Nevada State Bank volunteers make a big difference for these women,” she said. “They are at the core of helping them be successful when they leave the shelter, find jobs, and manage a household.”

Kim LaFausto, Case Manager for the Youth Offenders (YO) Specialty Drug Court, explained that many of the young adults in the YO program are high school dropouts who have drug problems in addition to their legal issues. “You have no idea of the impact of what you do,” she told the volunteers. “The financial literacy classes make a world of difference in their lives. We’re so grateful that Nevada State Bank is part of a community that’s helping these young people re-establish their lives and get back on the right track.”

Recognizing that financial education starts at an early age in our schools, the bank makes a special effort to encourage colleagues to teach Junior Achievement (JA) lessons in elementary schools throughout the state. State Bank Senior Vice President Stacy Watkins has served on the board of JA of Southern Nevada for nine years, currently serving as its board president. Together with Jodi Manzella, JA’s executive director, and Michelle Jackson, its education director, she thanked the Nevada State Bank volunteers who teach JA lessons to students in Southern Nevada, both in classrooms and also at JA’s annual Finance Park for eighth-grade students.

In addition to their financial education efforts, colleagues volunteer their time for a variety of groups serving their communities, and many serve on boards and committees for non-profits and community organizations. “Each year, we increase the number of volunteer hours,” said Drew Zidzik, Community Relations Manager for Nevada State Bank. “From June 2014 through May 2015, 230 colleagues volunteered for 141 organizations, spending a total of 6,136 hours helping out in the communities where they live and work.” He explained that these efforts have helped Nevada State Bank achieve and sustain an “Outstanding” rating for Community Service from the FDIC.

Nevada State Bank is proud to do its part in helping bring financial education to Nevadans, and in being a supportive member of Nevada communities throughout the state.


The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.


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