Benchmark $mart$tart scholarship application cycle open

Published 3:42 pm Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Benchmark Community Bank has announced the opening of the application period for its $mart$tart Community Commitment Scholarships. Six $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to area high school seniors who have demonstrated their commitment to community service through past and present activities in and out of school.

Launched in 2015, the $mart$tart Community Commitment Scholarship program awards high school seniors who meet the following criteria: 1. Is a resident one of the counties served by Benchmark’s full-service branches (Brunswick, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, or Prince Edward Counties) or has a banking relationship with Benchmark; 2. Will be graduating from high school during Spring 2018; and 3. Will be starting college or technical school in Summer or Fall 2018. Each applicant must demonstrate examples of community service provided through high school extracurricular and community organization activity. In addition, applicants must submit an essay not exceeding 500 words and describing the impact of community involvement on their lives.

“Our $mart$tart Community Commitment Scholarships are designed to reward high school seniors who have worked hard to make an impact in their communities,” said Benchmark President/CEO Jay Stafford. “These students have learned early that investing their time, energy and dollars into their hometowns will come back to them in the form of improved services, amenities, and community spirit. It is our privilege to serve side-by-side with these dynamic young people.”

Students interested in applying for a $mart$tart Community Commitment Scholarship are encouraged to go online to where they will find detailed information about program dates, rules, judging, and submission guidelines. Applications are available as online fillable and Word document. Applications are being accepted anytime through March 17, 2018. Applicant acceptance to an accredited school is prerequisite to receiving the award.

A component of Benchmark’s youth programs, the $mart$tart program serves teens ages 13-17 and is the segue from the YES (Youth Excited about Saving) Club for children 5-12. Begun in 2011, the $mart$tart program is designed to help participating youth develop good financial management skills. Among other teen-centered features, $mart$tart includes a debit card and prepares students for the final youth-focused program, the Bridge Account, that supports young adults ages 18-25 who are in college or out on their own for the first time. To learn more about Benchmark’s youth programs, visit your local branch or