First Federal Bank celebrated the 15th anniversary of Tiger Bank, a bank branch located in Columbia High School in Lake City, FL. The celebration attendees included First Federal Bank staff, Thomas Hosford, School Principal, Matthew Greene, Tiger Bank teacher sponsor, and past and current interns. During the celebration, a plaque was unveiled which lists each intern who graduated from this popular program.
Tiger Bank launched in the fall of 2008 and is open each school day from 7:45 am to 3:30 pm. This bank is completely student-run and supports fellow students and teachers by processing deposits, withdrawals, loan payments, making account changes, and initiating the process of opening an account. Recently, to facilitate cash withdrawals in between classes, an ATM was added to the branch.
Principal Thomas Hosford is grateful for the support from First Federal Bank, not only by offering students this internship opportunity but also by sharing with all students that banking knowledge is critical for their future success.
As John Medina, President and CEO, shared during the event the anniversary celebration happened at an optimal time because April is National Financial Literacy Month. This observance includes raising awareness of the importance of financial education and maintaining smart money management habits in today’s ever-changing world.
Over the years, eight graduates from Columbia High School and the Tiger Bank program have joined First Federal Bank in full-time positions. Holly Cowen, Tiger Bank graduate and Senior Vice President, Loan Operations Manager, shared, “What started as just a high school job turned into a career for many of us who are still employed by the bank after graduating. The current bank employees who started at Tiger Bank are dispersed among several departments, including operations, compliance, and IT, and several have moved to various levels of management. I am grateful that First Federal Bank and Columbia High School invested in me through the Tiger Bank program. The program opened doors and provided opportunities that evolved into a career.”