HATTIESBURG, MISS. - This month Hancock Whitney Bank celebrated over 100 years of being in the banking business by teaching kids at Petal Upper Elementary about financial responsibility on Thursday.
"Our bank was founded in the month of October over one-hundred years ago, and so across our footprint [business], bankers are out in classes today giving back to those communities we serve in and are a part of," Assistant Vice President of Hancock Whitney Bank, Sam Bilbo said. "We feel like what's a better way to celebrate than to be involved with the schools and giving back to our local communities."
Hancock Whitney Bank gave back by educating young minds through its Financial Cents program. The program teaches kids how to be financially responsible, by educating them about savings accounts, credit scores, student loans, and more.
Since 2014 the program has reached nearly 39,000 students at almost 250 schools. By understanding the value of a dollar, kids are able to make better financial decisions.
"It can give you intelligence about what you should do and how you should use your money when you grow up," Petal Upper Elementary, fifth-grade student, Trae Cummings said.
"The concept of money is pretty abstract to a child, but at our school, we have fifth and sixth graders," Petal Upper Elementary principal, Emily Branch said. "They're ten through twelve, so they are really starting to transition into those adolescent years and beginning to learn more abstract concepts... and finance and money are a part of that."
Thursday's event consisted of playing Jeopardy and answering questions about different financial topics, which bankers believe is important to learn at an early age.
"At a young age if you start getting them to think in that direction... Hopefully, their mindset is set for a better trajectory later in life with those key money decisions the will have to make," Bilbo said.