Mercantile Bank partners with GVSU on new programs to promote diversity in banking

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — When Darian Quinn graduated from East Kentwood High School and decided to pursue a business degree at Grand Valley State University, the plan was to live at home while going to school. Now, thanks to a new scholarship and internship program launched by Mercantile Bank, Quinn can attend Grand Valley and live on campus. He is one of three college students to benefit from the new Mentoring, Aspiring, Preparing, MAP and Mercantile Bank Business Scholarship program.

Both programs are designed to help foster diversity in banking while giving students insight into different types of jobs in finance while meeting their financial needs. The MAP program is for students from historically marginalized and underrepresented communities. It is a four-year development of student leadership in personal and professional contexts while giving them direct access and experience to a number of different careers in the banking world.

“At Mercantile, we are committed to empowering people to take charge of their financial future. Part of that
dedication starts with access to scholarships and job training while still in school,” said Robert, CEO of Mercantile.
said Kaminski. “We have strong co-op and college internship programs in high schools, but we are looking for ways to improve the leadership development components and continue to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in our industry. The MAP Program and Mercantile Bank Business Scholarship is designed to help students gain the equitable access required to succeed. We are thrilled that GVSU is just as passionate as we are about providing students with leadership skills, both inside and outside the classroom. »

The second joint effort between the bank and GVSU is the Mercantile Bank Business Scholarship. Each year, up to four high-performing college freshmen are selected to receive the money. The $15,000 scholarship is offered to the student each year, totaling $60,000 over their college career. It was created to benefit people of color in the community, a way for Mercantile to ensure diversity and a commitment to young people in the financial industry.

Helping to coordinate the new MAP program, Misti Stanton, Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Mercantile, is working closely with the first three students selected for the inaugural year. She recognizes the importance that these two programs play in developing new leaders in the banking world.

“Getting a degree with less debt, with measurable work experience is an important part of helping
students to launch successful careers and give back to their communities. Our program aims to help
students realize their potential and match them with a Mercantile Bank mentor who is also invested
in their success,” Stanton said. “Not only will they work with their mentors to gain valuable knowledge, but they will have the support and encouragement of the entire Mercantile team.”

Learn more about Mercantile’s community involvement, here.

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