Thanks to a partnership with FirstBank, Dalton State College student athletes can get a head start on life after graduation.
“You get your college degree, now what?” said Dalton State Athletics Director Jon Jaudon. “There’s insurance, mortgages, credit cards, investment and retirement. We want our students and student athletes at Dalton State to be ready for that.”
As part of a multi-pronged partnership between Nashville-based FirstBank and the college, student athletes will have access to financial classes hosted by FirstBank staff. The classes were a request of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee at the college, Jaudon said.
“It’ll be basic financial literacy classes,” said Kevin Brunson, the Dalton market president at FirstBank. “We’re going to be spending time with these student athletes and trying to help them get a leg up during and after college.”
The partnership extends well beyond the financial literacy classes. An internship will be made available at the bank for a Dalton State student to get training in the financial industry. Funds from the bank will go directly toward the scholarship fund for Dalton State student athletes, and a title sponsorship for FirstBank will allow the return of an annual banquet celebrating Roadrunner sports, Jaudon said.
“It’s going to allow us to bring back a year-end event that honors our sports teams and individuals,” Jaudon said. “It celebrates the sports year at Dalton State.”
FirstBank declined to provide the exact figure that would be paid to Dalton State.
“It’s a significant donation that’s going to make a difference for several student athletes,” Brunson said.
FirstBank, which has about $6.7 billion in total assets, runs 73 full-service bank branches across Tennessee, Kentucky, North Alabama and North Georgia. There are two FirstBank locations in Dalton, on Thornton Avenue and on Glenwood Avenue.
“It’s important to invest in our communities, and what better investment than in our student athletes at Dalton State,” Brunson said. “It gives us a lot of pride to be able to do that.”
“They’re a local bank who prides themselves on being local, and Dalton State prides itself on interaction with the local community,” Jaudon said.