In the News

Union State Bank Supports Financial Education

Local students are getting a free education in how to manage their money.

Originally posted on the Hazen Star

Union State Bank is working with Banzai, a national award-winning financial literacy program, to make curriculum available to the Beulah and Hazen school districts completely free.

“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 Union State 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 Union State Bank realizes that and they’re doing something about it.”

Christie Obenauer, CEO of Union State Bank, said the bank is “excited to deepen our relationship with our local schools to help prepare a foundation for our students to be fiscally successful, financially independent and fully prepared for all aspects of money matters they will encounter when they are on their own. It’s a great investment in our future.”

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 25,000 teachers and available in all 50 states.

Union State Bank has offered time, money, industry experience, and a variety of bank resources to help local schools teach personal finance in the classroom. 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 Union State Bank to improve financial literacy in their local schools.”

Teachers interested in using the Banzai program can visit or call 888-8-BANZAI.

Banzai interactive courses are fun and FREE. Go ahead.