Cleveland, TENNESSEE – On Wednesday, March 8, 2017, SouthEast Bank celebrated 130 middle school students for their participation in Vault: Understanding Money program. Vault is a web-based financial education course, powered by leading education technology company EverFi, Inc., designed to provide elementary and middle school students with the critical skills needed to make sound financial decisions. The web-based course is provided as a free resource to K-8 Tennessee schools by the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission (TNFLC), a program under the direction of State Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr. Since 2012, SouthEast Bank has partnered with EverFi to bring interactive, web-based financial education programs to over 50 high schools across East Tennessee. This year, in addition to their high school programs, SouthEast Bank joined the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission's state-wide initiative to impact elementary and middle school students by co-sponsoring the Vault program at Lake Forest Middle School. Since the inception of their partnership with EverFi, SouthEast Bank sponsored financial literacy programs have impacted over 13,000 East Tennessee students at no cost to the schools or taxpayer.

During this school year, students at Lake Forest Middle School have learned the basics of budgeting, balancing a checking account, online banking and other money management skills and received a certificate for their outstanding work within the Vault program. The event included remarks from Bill Parker, the Director of the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission from the Tennessee Treasury and DeWayne Morrow, SouthEast Bank City President.

"These students are our future consumers and the future leaders of our community. The more we can do to help them grow and prosper, the more our community will benefit -- and the more the financial services industry will benefit," said DeWayne Morrow.

Administered by teachers in a classroom setting, the online course features an interactive, new-media learning platform specifically designed to introduce financial literacy skills early in a child's development. The 2.5-hour curriculum aligns with national standards, and includes topics such as saving, budgeting, responsibility and decision-making, credit and debt, careers, income, charity, and more. In 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) highlighted EverFi's schools-based financial education programs in a new report on Advancing K-12 Financial Education: A Guide for Policymakers.

"The Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission is pleased to help equip the students of Lake Forest Middle School with the tools to better understand their money as a first step toward a successful financial future," said TNFLC Director Bill Parker.

"Lake Forest is focused on preparing students to be problem solvers, life-long learners, and productive members of society," said Lake Forest Middle School Principal, Ritchie Stevenson. "Financial knowledge is a foundation for all those characteristics. We are grateful for this partnership with the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission and SouthEast Bank, which will allow us to provide innovative resources and new opportunities to students in our state."

About SouthEast Bank
SouthEast Bank has become a premiere Tennessee financial institution by delivering exceptional quality, service, and innovative banking products to its clients. Our experienced staff diligently serves our communities with integrity and a sense of pride by offering exceptional service and value to not only our customers, but also the community as a whole. Because we are operated by local employees who live and work alongside the people we serve, SouthEast Bank is a true community bank that uses state of the art technology both inside and outside of our branches to reinvest in our schools, organizations and neighborhoods.

About the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission
The Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission was created in 2010 with the mission to equip Tennesseans to make sound financial decisions when it comes to planning, saving, and investing. The Commission has the goal to reach every K-8 classroom in Tennessee, providing financial literacy resources like Vault and the nationally recognized Financial Fitness for Life curriculum. The TNFLC provides both the resources, including training for teachers, free to Tennessee K-8 schools. The TNFLC is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that relies mostly on donations from individuals and businesses for its funding.

About EverFi
EverFi, Inc. is the leading education technology company focused on teaching, assessing, and certifying K-12 and college students in the critical skills they need for life. The company teams with major corporations and foundations to provide the programs at no cost to K-12 schools. Some of America's leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EverFi investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Twitter founder Evan Williams, and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. Learn more at everfi.com.