EDWARDSVILLE - Carrollton Bank has donated textbooks and laptops to the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Center (ESLC) to support finance education. The gift will enhance the curriculum at the ESLC Charter High School.
Carrollton Bank Chief Executive Officer Tom Hough and his wife, Suzanne, presented a check today valued at $8,700 to cover the purchase of consumer education/personal finance textbooks and 25 laptop computers designated for use by the personal finance students in the EverFi financial education program. The computers will belong to the Charter High School and used for EverFi and other academic purposes, as necessary.
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The bank also included $1,000 to fund the Junior Achievement Field Trip for the consumer education and personal finance classes, of approximately 55 students, with the bank providing four staff members to assist.
“A strong relationship between Carrollton Bank and the SIUE East St. Louis Center presents a significant opportunity for these Charter High School students to take their education beyond the classroom, to gain valuable experience and to apply the business and finance practices they will learn,” said SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook. “This program will benefit the participants by effectively preparing these students to be financially sound, while pursuing their education, and create a financial foundation for a lifetime. This is another example of the type of community partnership SIUE will rely upon to prepare students to shape a changing world.”
“We know that in community development, we can’t get everything done at once,” Tom Hough explained. “You have to find your niche where the most impact can be made. We looked at East St. Louis as one of the most economically challenged areas in St. Clair County, where we’ve just opened a full-service bank location, and found a trusted partner in SIUE to strategically approach this new venture.”
“The banking business is really a service business, and what sets Carrollton Bank apart is our people,” he added. “We value our customers, members of the communities in which we serve and our team members. When we have a bank in a local community, we feel it is part of our obligation to serve the community and support its members.”
“The East St. Louis Charter High School provides underrepresented students with the opportunity to succeed through immersion in the fine arts and a rigorous curriculum that prepares them to be college- and career-ready,” said Rachel Stack, vice chancellor and chief executive officer of the SIUE Foundation. “We look forward to a continued and mutually beneficial relationship with Carrollton Bank.”
A Carrollton native, Tom Hough has dedicated his entire career to Carrollton Bank and was named chairman and chief executive officer in 1988. He is the fifth generation of his family to lead the bank, which was founded in Carrollton in 1877 by his great-great grandfather. He is an alumnus of the University of Illinois College of Business, ’73.
Suzanne Hough began her career at Carrollton Bank in 1982 after graduating from Millikin University. Her responsibilities include developing and managing the bank’s community outreach efforts.
“With Carrollton Bank’s focus on financial services, what we want to do in neighborhoods and communities is build financial capacity and provide access to information, checking and savings accounts, and loans,” Suzanne Hough said. “We also want to create relationships to help people have a better life.
“We have honed in on the need for personal finance curriculum in the Charter High School and think this is the perfect match for this first launch of our partnership with SIUE.”
From its modest beginnings, Carrollton Bank has grown organically from $7 million in assets in 1973 to $1.5 billion and nine locations in Illinois and Missouri. The Carrollton Bank philosophy is to “be a friend and a neighbor,” which is evident in the Houghs’ commitment to the East St. Louis Center.
With a focus on empowering people and strengthening communities, the SIUE East St. Louis Center is dedicated to improving the lives of families and individuals—from pre-school through adult—in the Metro East region. The Center offers programs that give the community renewed hope and an opportunity to reach educational, career and life goals. It does so by providing comprehensive programs, services and training in the areas of education, health, social services and the arts.