On Thursday, Union Bank and Trust (UBT) in Fairbury showed their support for the TeamMates Mentoring Program by donating $150 to be used for scholarships.
Danni Starck, Branch Manager at Union Bank and Trust, explained that UBT has supported the program throughout the state and that she is happy to be able to donate to TeamMates in Fairbury.
“Statewide, Union Bank and Trust believes in what the TeamMates program can do,” said Starck. “TeamMates is something that is very important to me because I am a mentor and both of my older two children are mentees. It’s definitely something I was interested in incorporating into our budget.”
Starck is impressed with the non-competitive scholarship program offered through TeamMates and is glad to be able to help that scholarship fund grow.
“I believe that the scholarship program is just a huge help,” Starck said. “It’s not a competitive scholarship. Each person who makes it through this program and graduates receives a scholarship. How wonderful is that? Students are able to go through this great program and receive the benefits of it, but then at the end of it, they also get the benefits of a scholarship.”
Tiffany Ebke, who is the new TeamMates Coordinator in Fairbury, is grateful for the donation from UBT. Both Starck and Ebke encourage other local businesses to consider donating to the program, or to encourage their employees to become mentors.
“It’s definitely beneficial from a fundraising standpoint because the scholarship program is one of the biggest expenses and we want to be able to continue giving scholarships to the students,” said Ebke. “It opens a lot of new opportunities for our TeamMates. Making a donation or simply encouraging their employees to become mentors is one of the biggest ways that they can give back. It makes a huge impact that will go on and have a ripple effect in our community.”
Starck emphasized the need for more mentors to join TeamMates because of the number of students who are on the waiting list.
“There’s always a need for mentors,” Starck said. “There’s a pretty large waiting list with kids who want to be in the program but there aren’t any mentors available. It would be great if businesses consider a donation, but it would be even better if employers consider allowing their employees to take some time to mentor. We want people to sign up for TeamMates.”