Community State Bank (CSB) recently awarded $7,500 in educational scholarships to a total of 15 graduating seniors for the 2018-2019 school year. The local students attended Badger High School, Union Grove High School, Waterford Union High School, and Westosha Central High School. Each student was an instrumental part in organizing and volunteering for CSB’s award-winning financial literacy program known as MyLIFE.

MyLIFE (My Local Interactive Financial Education) was developed by CSB as a comprehensive interactive financial literacy program for high school students to demonstrate the importance of sound money management skills.

Over 60 community businesses, 175 volunteers and the 15 scholarship recipients volunteered for this year’s program. “MyLIFE is a stepping stone to prepare local students for what’s next,” said CSB SVP | Business Banker and Cash Management Neil Buchanan. “Our scholarship recipients are a large part of making these programs run smoothly and efficiently for their school. It’s a huge undertaking and I’m proud of their dedication to the program.”

The program is typically introduced each year to high school juniors. During the school year, the juniors had the opportunity to choose a career path that determined their starting salary for the event. Students were then randomly assigned a “life” – single, married, or divorced, kids or not, a credit score, level of education, and student debt – all potential real-life situations. Once their “life” was assigned, they were directed to the gym, where high school staff, local business leaders, community and student volunteers helped guide them through essential life decisions. Each of the students is required to manage a budget as they experience the program.

“I think that MyLIFE opened my eyes because budget, in theory, seems easy, but then unexpected things pop-up,” said Union Grove High School Valedictorian and MyLIFE Scholar Recipient Alexis Daigle. “I don’t think high school students think about that, and MyLIFE gives us the opportunity to learn about what to expect after high school.”

In addition to high school juniors, Union Grove High School has extended an invitation for the past six years to Shepherds College students, a post-secondary school for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

“This program was designed to serve every student,” said MyLIFE Coordinator Sherri Gorecki. “Each student’s life is tailored to their preferences, needs, and forecasted careers. It’s an honor to have delivered this to our local communities and we hope to do so for many years to come.”

Since the program was launched in 2013 over 6,000 students and six local schools (Lake Geneva Badger High School, Shoreland Lutheran High School, Shepherds College, Union Grove High School, Waterford Union High School, and Westosha Central High School) have been able to experience the program. CSB has also awarded a total of 54 educational scholarships to local high school students.

“MyLIFE continues to get better every year because of the dedication from local businesses, community members and our staff,” said CSB President & CEO Scott Huedepohl. “Thank you to everyone involved. Together, we are making our communities stronger.”

2019 MyLIFE Scholarship Recipients:
Union Grove High School

  • Alexis Daigle
  • Joseph Ditscheit
  • Calvin Obermeyer
  • Elly Passehl

Waterford Union High School

  • Grace Baker
  • Lexi Neubauer
  • Andrew Osborne
  • Kristen Ranke

Westosha Central High School

  • Jefferson Kearby
  • Kennedy Muff
  • Javier Retana

Badger High School

  • Christian Johnston
  • Madeline Krien
  • Madeline Schanz
  • Zoe Walker