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FirstBank – has been a community bank since its founding in Lakewood, Colorado, in 1963. Over the years, FirstBank has focused on consumer and small business needs, offering a variety of banking products and services tailored to their customers. This same philosophy applies to their community service and charitable involvement. “FirstBank invests heavily at the local level because we recognize that nonprofit organizations are integral to the social fabric of Colorado. When you consider the dynamics, investing in the community is not only the right thing to do, it’s also good business,” says John Ikard, CEO of FirstBank.
Ever since Young AmeriTowne Belmar opened its doors in January of 2005, FirstBank has been a valuable “Bank” sponsor. Besides the financial support FirstBank provides, Young AmeriTowne Bankers at Belmar have the opportunity to fill out their own business cards, pass out free debit card sleeves, count-out realistic “FirstBank AmeriTowne” dollars, and wear orange-colored ties and scarves—all thanks to the generosity and creativity of FirstBank. FirstBank was the first town sponsor to create business cards for the kids, a well-loved keepsake. FirstBank’s sponsorship makes the AmeriTowne Bank at Belmar feel like a real bank branch.
Young AmeriTowne FirstBank employees gain real-life, hands-on experience:
- Tellers practice good customer service when depositing citizen paychecks.
- Computer operators enter deposit and withdrawal information into the online system.
- Bank Vice Presidents (Accountants) keep track of all business expenses and revenue, including the amount each shop owes the Bank to pay for its startup business loan.
- Students in all shops keep track of spending by balancing their personal checkbooks.
Wise consumers use bank products and services, so it’s important children learn about banking at an early age. Instilling good money habits in children is arguably one of life’s most important lessons. While children may not have part-time jobs or cars, they likely have some source of money—birthday gifts, an allowance or odd jobs such as babysitting or doing yard work. And they certainly have wants, ranging from the coolest name-brand clothes to the latest tech gadgets. That’s why the early years are ideal for teaching children good money practices—before they have significant expenses or income.
FirstBank has also been a long-time supporter of Celebration for Young Entrepreneurs. The event is Colorado’s largest business competition, which recognizes and awards prizes to the leading youth business owners in Colorado. Young American Center is grateful for FirstBank’s consistent support for financial education over the last decade. FirstBank has helped make it possible for more than 323,000 Colorado young people to participate in Young AmeriTowne, and it has contributed to the financial literacy of thousands more!