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First Bank & Trust has created a partnership with the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program. As part of the partnership, First Bank & Trust will provide bank accounts with direct deposit to all of the teens under age 18 who get a summer job with the program. The bank will also provide financial literacy classes for about 150 Evanston youth.

“We strongly believe in helping young people make a great start in life,” said First Bank & Trust Managing Director Jay Lytle. “By providing these accounts, we will not only be encouraging young people to start saving at an early age, but we will also be helping Evanston businesses develop reliable, stable employees,” he said.

The Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program provides participating teens ages 14 to 18 up to nine weeks of entry-level work experience in a variety of jobs at community-based organizations, the City of Evanston and in the private sector. Last year, 525 teens received summer jobs through the program, and of those, 150 were under the age of 18.

The bank accounts given to the youth will have no minimum balance, and all will have ATM access. As an incentive for signing up for the bank accounts, each teen will also be entered into a raffle to win one of 10 $25 Downtown Evanston gift cards.

In addition, the bank will be providing three financial literacy classes for any of the teens and young adults participating in the program. The classes will cover the basics of banking and budgeting and will also teach teens about careers in banking.

“We hope that teaching teens good money habits at a young age will be a valuable skill they will use throughout their life,” Mr. Lytle said.