Supporting the Communities’ Youth Through Bank Internships

Being involved in the community is part of Blue Grass Federal’s mission. When the opportunity came to take on interns at the bank, it was an easy decision to partner with the Paris City School District.

The partnership began when Shanda Smith, president and CEO, approached Stephen McCauley, district superintendent, at a Chamber of Commerce event. The duo began discussing how they can make internships work with local students.

“Working with the school gives students a chance to gain real world experience,” says Smith. “We’re looking for those students who are college bound and those who aren’t.”

Internships give young people the knowledge they need to excel in a professional environment. Rhaea Ishmael began interning at the bank when she graduated from Paris High School, learning valuable skills like money management and professionalism.

“I gained a better understanding of finances and how the financing world operates, too,” says Ishmael. “I formed important and meaningful bonds with each of my coworkers, and I had an amazing support system in my journey after high school.”

The partnership with the school and the bank’s community-oriented mission go hand in hand, giving the bank an opportunity to be involved in local neighborhoods.

“I love that Blue Grass Federal is connected and involved in the community,” says Ishmael. “As a member of the Paris High School alumni, it means a great deal to us that future generations have advocates in their corner.”
Marcius Garr also learned valuable skills from interning at the bank.

“Working at the bank taught me a lot, like building my professionalism and simple communication skills,” says Garr. “Working here also connects me to the community. I get to meet very nice individuals and see familiar faces.”

The need for a bilingual intern at the bank opened a door for Jose Ramirez-Mendoza, student from the Paris City School District.

“Since I have been hired on as an intern, it has been great to work with all of these wonderful people and being able to learn alongside them,” says Ramirez-Mendoza. “It’s been very interesting to learn about the different aspects of banking, and I know everything I’m learning will be beneficial to me.”

Most importantly, internship opportunities can be life changing when communities come together to support students.

“We are grateful for our partnership with Blue Grass Federal,” says McCauley. “We appreciate the commitment Shanda and the team has shown by modeling what a school and community partner can accomplish when we work together.”

“These young people are our future,” continues Smith. “I see it as us giving back and investing into the youth of the community. I can’t wait to see how this partnership evolves going forward!”