VBA, Sonabank announce Mackenzie Burckbuchler as scholarship winner

Virginia Bankers Association

Sonabank Senior Vice President Patricia Gallagher presents Mackenzie Burckbuchler, VBA Bank Day Scholarship Program statewide winner, her certificate for a $7,500 college scholarship from the VBA Education Foundation.

The Virginia Bankers Association, together with the VBA Education Foundation and the VBA Emerging Bank Leaders, is pleased to announce that Mackenzie Burckbuchler is the statewide scholarship winner of the VBA Bank Day Scholarship Program.

Mackenzie, who is a senior at St. Margaret’s School in Tappahannock, participated in the Bank Day Scholarship Program at Sonabank. Mackenzie was previously awarded the $2,500 Eastern Virginia regional scholarship and will now receive an additional $5,000 for a total of $7,500 for her college education.

This year, the VBA Bank Day Scholarship Program had a record number of student participation with more than 450 students hosted at 35 banks across the Commonwealth.  The purpose of this experience is for the students to learn about banking, financial services, and the vital role banks play in their communities. Mackenzie reflected on her experience by saying, “Before banks can be successful, they must earn the trust of their community. Because banks earn this trust through community outreach, they demonstrate their selflessness and investment. As I see the influence of these banks in my community, I do not feel anxious as I think about my financial future. I know I will always be supported. I know I will always be offered honest, real advice. I know I need to set myself up for success now. I know local banks will prepare me. As I embark on my college experience, I know I will feel secure and safe by finding a local bank. When used properly, money connects communities, facilitates cultural interaction, encourages understanding, and creates an economy that truly benefits every fraction of society. Regardless of my future income and socio-economic status, I will rely on banks to help me manage my success and maximize my income so that I may live a prosperous, happy life.”

“Sonabank is pleased that one of our very own students that attended our Bank Day is the statewide winner.  Mackenzie is a very talented student and we congratulate her on her efforts and success. We are always pleased to support the VBA in their educational efforts to promote their annual Bank Day program,” said Sonabank CEO, Joe A. Shearin.

“We are excited to award Mackenzie with this scholarship as she goes off to the University of Georgia this fall. A key objective of the VBA Education Foundation is to make sure that Virginia’s students are prepared for their financial futures. After reading’s Mackenzie’s essay, we know that she is well-equipped to succeed in college, and we are proud to be supporting her education financially through this program,” said Bruce Whitehurst, president & CEO of the Virginia Bankers Association.

The VBA Bank Day Scholarship Program began in 1991 when the third Tuesday in March was declared Bank Day in Virginia by the Virginia General Assembly. On this day, Virginia high school seniors spend a day in banks across the Commonwealth shadowing bankers in their daily duties. After their day, the students are required to write an essay about their experience. Thirteen scholarships (six regional, six honorable mention and one statewide) are awarded based on the merit of the essays.

Since 2012, the VBA Education Foundation has distributed $137,000 in scholarship monies to 66 students, all while educating more than 2,000 participating students about the banking industry.  As Mackenzie said in her essay, “We sometimes forget everything that happens behind the scenes, but a bank is much more complex than it lets on at a surface level. Behind every transaction is a teller, behind every loan application is a branch manager, behind every server is an IT worker, and behind every bank is a family of workers, committed to their community.”

Click here to see pictures from Bank Day. The VBA Bank Day Scholarship Program will take place again next March.


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