DENVER, NC – Just in time for Financial Wellness Month, United Bank is partnering with local Lincoln County middle and high schools to offer financial wellness education for students.
This winter and early spring, Matthew Sillitoe, AVP, Branch Manager at United Bank’s Triangle, NC location, will be giving personal finance presentations at local schools. These presentations are part of new personal finance and financial literacy graduation requirements for North Carolina students.
“Students need to learn about personal finance and financial literacy to navigate daily life, make informed financial decisions, and plan for their future,” said Kyle Dooley, Economics and Financial Literacy teacher at Lincoln Charter School. “There’s a huge advantage to having a banking professional speak to students. They have a lot more experience in the field, and this enables them to answer specific questions that students may have in a lot more depth.”
In the presentations, Sillitoe will cover a range of banking topics including a brief introduction to banking, the future of banking, the role of banks in the community, as well as financial products and services. He will also teach personal finance skills like how to write a check, how to open and manage a checking account, saving and budgeting tips for the future, how to stay safe online, and lessons on credit and debt.
United Bank’s commitment to providing excellence in service extends beyond banking – it includes giving back to the communities it serves, which is one thing that drew Sillitoe to United. Sillitoe first began offering volunteer presentations in a former role back in Florida. Since joining United in June 2023, he’s actively looked for ways to build and strengthen relationships with the local community and raise awareness for United in North Carolina – with the Bank having just entered the market in 2020. Sillitoe not only wants to teach students about the Bank, but he also wants to show them that it’s never too early to set themselves on the right financial path.
“They have to take their futures seriously and it starts now – at 14 and 15 when they’re getting their first part-time jobs. They need to know how to plan, save, not live beyond their means, and put themselves in a position where, at 18 or 21, they can buy a car with good credit, and they can look to buy their first home in their early- to mid-twenties,” said Sillitoe. “I really just hope to emphasize the importance of being prepared, not wasting money, and staying safe when shopping online, on their phones, and buying things through social media.”
Sillitoe will be presenting at each of the following Lincoln County schools and is currently working to set dates for presentations with other middle and high schools in the county:
Lincoln Charter School: January 8, 2024
North Lincoln High School: February 7, 2024
East Lincoln High School: February 15, March 27; April 11, 2024
Sillitoe and his colleagues are also preparing fraud and scam protection lessons to promote financial literacy among older generations. They hope to partner with local churches and assisted living facilities to hold these presentations so all age groups in the community can learn and grow.
“If nothing else, I hope to spread awareness and show how important financial literacy is. This isn’t just a lesson for students to check a box; this is a life skill that everyone needs to know,” said Sillitoe. “I wasn’t taught this growing up, and it would’ve been very helpful for me. I want to give the younger generations a bit more of a leg up for how to approach life moving forward.”
ABOUT UNITED BANK
United Bank is a premier community bank and a subsidiary of United Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: UBSI). United has consolidated assets of nearly $30 billion with close to 250 offices located throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Georgia, as well as Washington D.C. In 2023, United was named the Most Trustworthy Bank in America by Newsweek, joining the list of the Most Trustworthy Companies in America. The Bank is dedicated to growing the relationships it has built since 1839 and offering a competitive suite of banking and lending products, treasury management, wealth management, mortgage services, personal and business credit cards and more. United is also committed to providing excellence in service to the communities throughout its footprint, strategically aligning resources to move the needle on pressing challenges in vital impact areas including financial literacy, children and education, affordable housing, health, and economic vitality. Learn more about United Bank.
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