Finance Career & Leadership Academy

FCLA studentsFinance Career & Leadership Academy

Virginia National Bank's (VNB) Finance Career & Leadership Academy (FCLA, Academy) is an instructional program designed to provide advanced personal finance and employment readiness training AND a path to career opportunities in banking for high school juniors and seniors within our communities.   

The Academy runs as an in-person series of classroom meetings. As of right now, due to space constraints and construction in Warrenton, the 2024 Academy will be held only in Charlottesville, Virginia, from February 5 – June 6, 2024 (weather cancellations may extend classes).

T & Th, 6:30 - 8:00 PM
Virginia National Bank
404 People Place
Charlottesville, VA 22911

This program is offered absolutely free-of-charge to those students accepted into the Academy. Up to ten students are accepted into the FCLA. 

The program provides quality financial training that gives young people the perspective and tools necessary to level the economic playing field and make responsible financial decisions. Also, included in the curriculum is a comprehensive study of employment readiness and professionalism concepts and strategies aimed to increase the marketability and employability of the participants. In order to begin a successful career, these young adults must be prepared to effectively communicate with a multi-generational workforce. And, in order to have a successful financial future, they must have the skills necessary to manage their own finances intelligently and productively. The course topics are as follows: 

Group of teenagers

Employment Readiness and Personal Finance Topics

  • Economic Perspectives
  • Employment Strategies & Professionalism
  • Income Studies
  • Taxation
  • Budgeting
  • Loans, Interest Rates, and the Credit System
  • Money and the Banking System
  • Insurance
  • Investments and Retirement Planning

This program also offers the potential opportunity for training necessary to enter a lucrative career without incurring six-figure debt and four lost years of earning potential, as the most promising and top performing students from the Academy will be considered for VNB’s College Program (the Commercial Banking/Staff Development Program). Our partnership with the Center for Financial Training and Education Alliance (CFTEA) has allowed us to create a credentialing program specifically designed to prepare students to meet the demands of our industry, and to do so without the prohibitive cost of a four-year degree. This bank-sponsored, comprehensive, free training program consists of 16 courses of which 14 are accredited college/university courses (41 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.  

FCLA Program Goals

  • Improve the interpersonal, technical, and professional skills of the next generation workforce

  • Provide our young adult community members with a deeper understanding and comfort level with personal finances

  • Provide a path for career in the banking and finance industry without incurring high levels of student debt

Although one of the goals of the program is to encourage and promote careers in the financial industry, students who decide not to pursue this career path will still receive the benefits of a personal finance education that greatly exceeds the typical high school curriculum, both in scope and quality. Successful completion of this course will earn participants (1) the FinLit Alpha Certification from Virginia National Bank, which distinguishes the student as having mastered advanced topics in personal finance, and (2), for those with a high GPA, also, a personal letter of recommendation from Glenn Rust, President and CEO of Virginia National Bankshares Corporation (VABK) and CEO of VNB, that can be used for college or employment.


Why We're Different:

  • We are providing a first-rate, in-depth financial education, AND creating a path to potential employment.
  • Students are trained not only in concepts of finance, but also in the critical thinking and problem-solving techniques required to solve the open-ended challenges that occur in the real world.
  • Financial topics are studied from the institutional perspective as well as that of the consumer.
  • Employment strategies and professionalism training are embedded in the course curriculum.
  • The course instructors are experienced educators and finance industry experts.
  • Enrollment is absolutely free.

The application window for the 2024 class has closed. Please check back in the fall of 2024 to apply for the 2025 class.

To see last year's graduates Click Here

For any questions, please use the email listed below.

Meghan Crider








Meghan Crider
Director of Educational Programs, Vice President
Phone: 434.817.8651