The newest laureate to the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame has been chosen — Southside Bank.
“They embody the spirit of what Junior Achievement represents as they have fostered entrepreneurship and assisted countless small businesses to grow and prosper,” said Steve Wiggs, chairman of the Junior Achievement board of directors.
“Junior Achievement’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. Our honoree’s mission is consistent with what Junior Achievement aspires to do in educating and preparing young people to be better prepared to manage their own financial lives in adulthood as well as being able to contribute to a successful global economy.”
Kristen Bjork’s first grade class attended the announcement at Peete Elementary School.
“Junior Achievement is so helpful to us, because it supplements lessons we really want to teach in our curriculum,” she said.
The organization sends trained volunteers from all over the community into the classrooms to teach the lessons.
Her class made cards for Junior Achievement, thanking them for teaching them about maps, needs vs. wants and college.
The organization served about 1,250 students in 60 classes this fall, and anticipates 3,500 during the course of the year, Wiggs said.
Southside Bank opened for business in 1960 with one location on Beckham Avenue in Tyler. The bank has spread throughout Texas and now has $3.5 billion in assets and about 700 employees.
Southside Bank will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the annual celebration, scheduled for March 6 at Willow Brook Country Club. Mastercard is the presenting sponsor for the event.
“We’re honored and humbled in every way to join this elite group,” said Lonny Uzzell, executive vice president of Southside Bank. “We’ve been a longtime supporter of Junior Achievement; many of our employees volunteer. We’re creating leaders right here in East Texas.”