Associated Bank, a member of the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR), recently presented Rai Anna Lundeen, recent graduate of La Crosse Logan High School, La Crosse, Wis. and Nathan Friar, recent graduate of Wauzeka-Steuben High School, Prairie Du Chien, Wis., with $5,000 scholarships from the FSR Scholarship Foundation for focusing on financial literacy during high school.

The scholarship was awarded to only 15 students across the country. While many high school students do not focus on learning about how finances work, financial literacy is more important than ever. Students can quickly get into debt and make poor financial decisions without the needed education to make wise consumer decisions. Recipients were chosen based on completion of a certified financial literacy course, their status as a graduating senior entering a college/university, and for exhibition of academic success, respectable character, and financial need.

"These scholarships are important because they reward high school students who take financial literacy seriously and successfully complete financial literacy courses. It is imperative that key financial concepts are learned early in life to avoid pitfalls. It is never too early or too late for financial literacy,” said Judy Chapa, vice president, community services, The Financial Services Roundtable.

“It was my honor to present this scholarship to Rai Anna and Nathan for their dedication to financial literacy throughout their high school careers,” said Tim Medinger, senior district manager, Associated Bank. “These are skills they will continue to build on and develop throughout colleague and into their career.”

Ludeen will attend University of Nebraska at Lincoln and Friar will attend University of Wisconsin at Madison.

In addition to being a member of the FSR, Associated is a firm supporter of financial literacy education through their financial literacy volunteerism program. This Associated program was recently enhanced to leverage colleagues’ unique skills sets, financial expertise and personal drive to make a difference in the communities where they live and work.

“Through our colleagues’ collective efforts, we can provide hundreds of individuals and children with the tools and basic knowledge they need to better manage their money and make effective financial decisions,” said Andrew Ruehl, corporate social responsibility manager, Associated Bank.

All colleagues at Associated can volunteer with various financial literacy programs in their community regardless of their current role or professional background. Colleagues are placed in positions that best match their comfort level, skills and interests.

“It’s our goal to have at least 400 volunteers who are ready to help serve the financial literacy needs of our communities,” said Ruehl.

Left photo: Tim Medinger (left), senior district manager, Associated Bank, presents a $5,000 Financial Services Roundtable scholarship to Rai Anna Lundeen at Assocaited Bank La Crosse. Also present are (back row) Jay Sodey, branch manager and Lundeen’s parents.

Right photo: Tim Medinger (left), senior district manager, Associated Bank, presents a $5,000 Financial Services Roundtable scholarship to Nathan Friar at Associated Bank Prairie du Chien.