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Cascade: No. 77, Spring/Summer 2011

Banker’s Financial Education Efforts Focus on Students

Aaron L. Groff, Jr., chairman, president, and CEO of Ephrata National BankAaron L. Groff, Jr., chairman, president, and CEO of Ephrata National Bank

Aaron L. Groff, Jr., chairman, president, and CEO of Ephrata National Bank (ENB) in Ephrata, PA, shares his insights about personal finance with students through the Junior Achievement program, school tours, and presentations, and discusses helping teachers to obtain training.

Groff teaches several lessons on budgeting and credit to eighth-grade students as part of Junior Achievement’s Economics for Success program. He explains the importance of educational and career goals and relates how he started his banking career with positions at ENB as a clerk and a teller.

In addition, when students come to the bank for tours arranged by local schools, he provides an overview of banking and the importance of each person’s credit record. He emphasizes basic concepts about money when he speaks with young children and discusses bank accounts and loans with older students.

Last summer, ENB made a contribution to the Ephrata Area School District that enabled three teachers to attend “Keys to Financial Success,” the Philadelphia Fed’s personal finance training program for high school teachers held each summer.*

Groff shared these reflections about financial education:

“Sharing experiences with the next generation is an investment of time and energy where you get to keep the ‘change.’ Especially during these times of economic uncertainty, teaching students safe and sound money management skills — save more, borrow less — is paramount. I also appreciate the opportunity to teach them the role of the bank — a caretaker, never the owner, of the community’s money.

“The ‘bank’s money’ actually belongs to the students, their families, and their friends. Putting the deposit and lending relationship in this context helps students understand the importance of being financially responsible, especially with regard to loans. I believe this is a prudent lesson for all bankers as well. Remembering this ‘caretaker’ role encourages prudent loan underwriting standards and strong partnerships with customers.”

— Keith L. Rolland

  • *The five-day program will be offered June 27–July 1, 2011, at the Philadelphia Fed. For information, contact Todd Zartman at todd.zartman@phil.frb.org E-Mail Address.