Benchmark Community Bank invites scholarship applications

Published 8:04 am Friday, December 1, 2023

Benchmark Community Bank is once again sponsoring its $mart$tart Community Commitment Scholarships. High School seniors residing or attending school in one of the Southside Virginia/northern North Carolina counties served by Benchmark are invited to apply for one of ten $1,000 scholarships. Students who live or are educated outside of the service footprint, but who are Benchmark customers are also eligible to apply. Applications close at 11:59 pm on Thursday, February 15, 2024.

“Benchmark’s $martStart Scholarship is unique,” said President/CEO Jay Stafford. “As a community bank, we know how critical it is for people of all ages to support the civic organizations and activities that enhance their hometown’s quality of life.”

“Our program’s eligibility is based on a student’s demonstrated involvement in extracurricular school and community activities rather than their academic achievement,” Stafford continued. “So many of our bright young minds have so much to share with the employers and organizations at home. We want to encourage them to return home and share their ideas, energy, and newfound educations by opening new businesses and getting involved in their communities.”

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The application can be found online at

The $mart$tart Community Commitment Scholarship is named for Benchmark’s $mart$tart checking account for young people ages 13-17. The account encourages students to learn the importance of saving for the future while incorporating a debit card that allows them to make decisions about managing, spending, and saving. It is part of the menu of youth-targeted accounts beginning with YES (Youth Excited about Saving) for ages 5-12 and Bridge for young adults ages 18-25.