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February 09, 2023

2023 Finance Career and Leadership Academy Students

FCLA Students Announced

Virginia National Bank (VNB) is excited to announce the students who have been accepted into VNB’s 2023 Finance Career and Leadership Academy (FCLA, Academy). In total we have fourteen students who have earned positions in the Academy – nine in Charlottesville and five in Warrenton.

“We were extremely impressed by the number of talented and qualified young people who applied for entry into our program,” said Glenn Rust, President and CEO of Virginia National Bankshares Corporation (VABK) and CEO of VNB. “Congratulations to this year’s winners, who each show a strong commitment to furthering their financial education and improving their lives and their communities. We are proud to have them as participants in this year’s FCLA and to support their educational and professional journey.” 


The students accepted into the Charlottesville Academy include:

  • Alexis Alms – Albemarle High School
  • Kamryn Buckwalter – Albemarle High School
  • Alani Green – Charlottesville High School
  • Jazz Harris – Charlottesville High School & CATEC
  • Arjun Marwah – The Covenant School
  • Bethany Miles – Homeschool
  • Tia Scott – Charlottesville High School
  • Oren Tieyah – Albemarle High School
  • Summer Weakley – William Monroe High School, Ruckersville


The students accepted into the Warrenton Academy include:

  • Gabby Downey – Liberty High School, Bealeton
  • Jack Flemming – Eastern View High School, Culpeper
  • Aryan Joshi – Battlefield High School, Haymarket
  • Asaph King – Homeschool
  • Jake Miller – Fauquier High School

The participants were chosen based on their academic achievement, extra-curricular activities, community service, and overall character. Applicants also wrote an essay about what they hoped to accomplish with a stronger and deeper financial education and went through an interview process.

The Finance Career & Leadership Academy is a free instructional program designed to not only provide advanced personal finance and employment readiness training, but also a path to career opportunities in banking for high school juniors and seniors within our communities. The most promising and top performing students from the Academy are considered for VNB’s College Program (the Business/Staff Development Program).

The College Program is a bank-sponsored, comprehensive, free training program that consists of 15 courses of which 13 are accredited college/university courses (38 credit hours that are transferable to a 2 or 4-year college/university) and work projects. Participants receive fulltime pay with full fringe benefits (includes 401k with company match) while completing the program and, if successful in the program, have the potential opportunity for a career with VNB. Also, once employed, should they choose, they may go on to complete a 2 or 4-year degree at the company’s expense.

“Helping local students develop their financial skills on both a professional and personal level while also giving them a career path without the high levels of student debt is our goal,” said Rust. “Our educational programs are a means by which we give back to our community and we look forward to continuing these programs for years to come.”

FCLA Quote

VNB would also like to personally thank all those who helped us reach so many qualified, talented, and hard-working young people in our community. Including, but not exclusively or in any particular order, –


Albemarle County Public Schools, particularly

  • Kate Acuff, Albemarle County School Board – Jack Jouett District
  • Esmerelda Amos, Career Specialist, AHS
  • Caroline Bertrand, Career Specialist, WAHS

Charlottesville Public Schools, particularly

  • James Daly, Economics and Personal Finance Teacher, CHS
  • Deborah Tewksbury, Personal Finance Teacher, CHS
  • Yumeca Webb-Jordan, Personal Finance Teacher, CHS
  • Megan Fitzgerald, Career & Technical Education Department Chair

Joshua Rashad Epps, UVA – Division for DEI – Program Manager of MOCHA/WOCHA
Stuart Hornsby, Owner of Lux Ventures and Campaign Manager, The Center for Christian Study at UVA
James Pierce, Owner of PSA, and former CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Central Virginia
Connie Sylvester, Equis Financial and ACTS Board Director
Venita Richmond, President, Albemarle Christian Teaching Support (ACTS)
Jackie Jamison, Development Director and College Counselor, Regents School
Julia Hixson, Director of College Advising, The Covenant School
Carl E. Brown, President, C.E. Brown & Associates
Wanda Sloper, REACH Homeschool Group, VA


Liberty High School, particularly

  • Erin DiVello, Business and Marketing Department Chair

Fauquier High School, particularly

  • Holly Schoenhoff, Career Coach
  • Frank Stranos, Business & Marketing Department Head

Battlefield High School

Osbourn Park High School, particularly

  • Kathleen Riddle, Business Marketing Department Chair


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