It’s a sweet deal their parents would like to get in on, but these transactions are for Alcoa Middle School students only. When SunTrust spearheaded the opening of the Alcoa Middle School Youth Bank, they went that extra step to encourage new customers. No blenders or toasters for these young savers -- just good old fashion cash.
“You can open an account with $1,” said SunTrust Bank vice chair Adriel McCord. Once your deposit reaches $25 to $75, the bank puts in $10, increasing to $15 ($76 to $150), $20 ($151 to $300) and $25 ($301 to $500).
The student bank is a win-win for everyone, said George Williams, Alcoa community leader. “This will encourage savings and is a great opportunity for some educational lessons to improve the kids’ skills.”
The students involved were getting a good dose of just what all is involved in taking care of people’s money. “It is a lot of responsibility,” said McCord. “The student bankers are learning about account numbers, savings balances, balancing books and the importance of savings.”
McCord said the bank was looking for a project that would enrich the community as well as highlight the bank’s goals. A SunTrust bank in Atlanta has a Student Bank and shared their experiences with the organizing team, McCord said.
Cecelia Harig, president of the Youth Bank, said the program is “outstanding. The educational aspect of it is great. They are doing spreadsheets, making decisions about services offered and learning the value of saving,” said Harig.
The “soft opening” brought in 7 new depositors, said student banker Shreya Shan. The Alcoa Middle School Student Bank is open every Thursday from 2:15 to 3 p.m.