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Moving through the fall into the winter season naturally stirs a time of reflection. It has been an incomparable year with many around the world facing innumerable challenges. While these obstacles may seem insurmountable, we have seen by leveraging a renewed focus on collective community support we can and are making difference.
Young Americans Center for Financial Education is grateful for the treasured partnership with FirstBank and for their exemplification of steadfast leadership and commitment to community service. In March, FirstBank pushed its mantra of “banking for good” to a new level – by spearheading the financing initiatives for SBA Paycheck Protection loans across the region. These lifelines for community business infrastructure (7,700-plus loans initiated from FirstBank) totaling over $1 billion.
Today, FirstBank is doubling down on community support with its continued partnership in 2020 Colorado Gives Day on Tuesday, December 8th. With the $1 million incentive fund, this one-day online giving event benefits over 2,900 nonprofits, and as a result, all Coloradans. FirstBank has partnered with Community First Foundation (CFF) since 2010 in bringing this giving movement, which has raised over $257 million for deserving nonprofits.
FirstBank knows what it means to meet challenges swiftly and with confidence. They are a pioneer problem-solver and continue to deliver hands-on critical investments in businesses and individuals. FirstBank embodies this commitment to communities by also promoting hands-on education, especially for youth.
At Young AmeriTowne in Lakewood, an experiential learning platform where elementary students run their own life-like town and economy, FirstBank sponsors the Young AmeriTowne Bank.” This “bank” provides funding for student business teams to run successful mock businesses. Loans from the Bank are used to provide salaries for employees, sell real products and services, pay business expenses and run seamless business operations. Students deposit their individual paycheck, receive cash, and use a checkbook and debit card to make purchases while the Bank manages the cloud-based checking accounts for all AmeriTowne citizens during the experience. Business teams aim to earn revenue through the simulation to pay back their loan. Teams also choose to direct money from their final profits to make philanthropic business donations to real Colorado charities.
The Bank is a pivotal piece to the AmeriTowne economy. It provides students with firsthand experience in community interdependence – every citizen and business plays an important role in maintaining the vibrancy of the collective group and AmeriTowne wouldn’t be prosperous without each unique player. Students manage all facets of a living, breathing economy all on their own – filled with many of the same triumphs and pitfalls that society experiences. They become independent and self-sufficient citizens of their own working community.
“If our young people are armed with financial skills and best-practices at an early age, we can be assured the upcoming workforce is equipped to not only navigate future challenges, but participate in helping members of our communities move forward and thrive,” said Brian Larson, FirstBank Regional President.
Ultimately, FirstBank is helping students understand that we are in this together. A community only moves forward with everyone. That’s why lending a hand is always so important. FirstBank’s demonstrated delivery of forward-thinking service is a blueprint for Colorado youth to use in planning for the future success of their own communities. Thank you FirstBank for embedding what “banking for good” really looks and feels like.