Banzai_HB_1700We believe strong communities and economies start with understanding your own finances. Heartland Bank has partnered with Banzai to provide a free financial literacy program that is engaging and interactive to the schools in our communities.

"Banzai is a web-based financial literacy program. Kids get their own accounts, and they work through assignments that are based on real life," Morgan Vandagriff, co-founder of Banzai, said. "But because Heartland Bank is sponsoring it, local schools get it for free. More than ever, it's important that kids develop sound financial skills to prepare them for the real world, and Heartland Bank realizes that and they're doing something about it."

Banzai is an interactive, online program supplemented by printed workbooks which aligns with state curriculum requirements for personal finance education. It has become the largest program of its kind, servicing more than 35,000 teachers and available in all 50 states.

"At the heart of what we do is focus to be an organization helping to improve the lives of our customers, associates and communities. Whether that's time, money, products or industry experience, we take the responsibility seriously. We're ecstatic to have a program creating real-world financial situations available in our schools," said Caitlin Dumas, Marketing Director / Officer. 

Students using the program are exposed to real-life scenarios where they learn to pay bills and balance a budget – but it’s not always easy. Students must learn to manage unexpected expenses such as parking tickets, interest charges and overdraft fees. The educational program also introduces students to auto loans, bank statements, entertainment costs, savings and more.

“Too often students get out of school and they just aren't ready for the financial roller coasters life can give us,” Vandagriff said. “Banzai teaches students to navigate those twists and turns and come out on top. We're excited to work with Heartland Bank to improve financial literacy in local schools.”

Right now, we are sponsoring schools in Fillmore County, Amherst, Ord, Sutton and Hastings to make this curriculum free for teachers to use in their classrooms. 

Teachers interested in using the Banzai program can visit the website for more information. 

Learn more

Melissa Karloff

Melissa is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Heartland Bank. Melissa has worked in Human Resources for the past 20 years in different work environments. She received her bachelor’s degree from Hastings College and her master’s degree from UNK.

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