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Local Student Awarded CBAI Scholarship

Local Student Awarded CBAI Scholarship

cbai scholarship

The Community Bankers Association of Illinois (CBAI) Foundation for Community Banking has selected its 2019 Annual Scholarship Program winners. Now in its 33rd year, the program offers $21,000 to 24 high-school seniors via an essay‑writing contest; $500 is also awarded to the first‑place winner's high school. This year, 88 CBAI member banks representing 235 students statewide, participated in the contest.

First Community Bank and Trust is very pleased to announce that Peotone High School student, John Schubbe, has been named the second-place winner for group 2; the bank sponsored Schubbe for the contest. He has been awarded a one-time, $500 scholarship to be used for higher education beginning next fall.

            Below is a copy of his winning essay. Details will be available in September 2019 for the 2020 scholarship program. 

The impact/importance of community banking to me or someone I know:

I have always been a self-starter and a hard worker. I live on a farm, and enjoy working outdoors, being busy, and helping people. Three summers ago, I started working for a few people doing lawn care, barn work, and general home maintenance. I guess those people were pleased with my work and my friendliness, because before I knew it, they had recommended me to friends and several more people were calling me to work for them too. Soon, I was working for over a dozen people in my community, mostly older folks who live in the country. Before all of this work came my way, I just kept my spare cash in a small box in my bedroom. As my business grew, it became dear that my money box was not big enough to hold the earnings from all of the work I was doing. My mom suggested that it was time for me to open a checking account, so we went to our local community bank together one summer day and met with a personal banker. This was a very simple process. The personal banker I met with explained everything to me about my new student checking account Now that I have this account set up, it is an easy way to keep my money safe. I've learned to keep track of my responsible spending with a mobile banking app on my phone as well as balancing my checkbook. I enjoy having a debit card to use for things I need, mostly gas for my car. Whenever I have a question or need to make a deposit, I don't hesitate to visit the bank. They know me there now. The people in my local bank have played an important role in helping me understand my financial options as I have worked to earn money for my future.


The impact/importance of community banking to a business or agricultural concern in my area:

I am the sixth generation to grow up on our family grain farm. It is a way of life that I wish to carry on after college. However, it is a risky lifestyle with fluctuating income due to weather and marketing changes. My dad has been using our local community bank for his business for many years. It is a place he can trust to keep his money for his farm business. A farmer's income and expenses are different than most people. Paychecks don't come in every two weeks, like they do with many other jobs. Expenses are often very large. Sometimes farmers need to obtain operating loans or mortgages for land purchases. Having a community bank that understands and provides for the unique financial needs of farmers is important in a rural community like ours.


The impact/importance of community banking to my community in general: 

Community banking is a very important thing in my town. I live in a small community where it is common to know most of the people. Whenever I, or anyone in my family goes into the bank, the workers know us. They ask how we are doing, how school is going, and it is very easy to make conversation. This kind of professionalism with a personal touch is what allows any business, including banks, to survive in a small town. A community bank exists to meet the financial needs of all types of people; therefore, knowing the people is essential. To build trust in the community, a business has to build good relationships with the people. If a business is bad, people will surely spread the word; whereas, if people have positive experiences with a business, they will do the same. The bank in our town is a very positive presence. Not only do people trust this bank for their financial needs, the bank also supports the community by advertising community events on its electric sign and sponsoring events such as an annual free cookout/ parking lot tailgating party on the night of the Homecoming Football game. This shows that the bank is more than just a building; it's a business that cares about the people in the community it serves.

About CBAI

Founded in 1974, CBAI is a professional trade association headquartered in Springfield, and represents approximately 320 Illinois community-oriented banks and thrifts.


About the CBAI Foundation for Community Banking

The Foundation was established by CBAI to professionally serve and support member financial institutions through every available channel, and to promote the community-banking philosophy. 


About First Community Bank and Trust

First Community Bank and Trust is a privately-owned bank. Established in 1916 First Community Bank and Trust has been serving Beecher, IL, Peotone, IL and the surrounding communities for over 100 years. Our commitment to providing the best banking products and services is matched only by our outstanding customer service. We offer traditional community banking services, including mortgage, consumer, and commercial lending, as well as state of the art electronic banking services.

Press Contact:
Bridget Goedke, Marketing Assistant
First Community Bank and Trust
(708) 946-2246