Caroline Laughorn

Recent Halifax County High School graduate and Benchmark Community Bank $mart$tart Community Commitment Scholarship recipient Caroline Laughorn (left) is congratulated by Jennifer Throckmorton, assistant vice president/branch manager for the South Boston Benchmark Community Bank.

Halifax County High School 2019 graduate Caroline Laughorn has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship from Benchmark Community Bank. Jennifer Throckmorton, assistant vice president/branch manager for the South Boston location, made the presentation during the school’s recent senior awards program.

The annual $mart$tart Community Commitment Scholarship is named for the bank’s savings and money management program designed for teens ages 13-17.  The scholarship recognizes dedication to community and extracurricular service throughout a student’s high school career.

Laughorn plans to attend James Madison University where she will major in health sciences with a minor in pre-physician assistant studies.

“Caroline distinguished herself through service with several community organizations such as the Halifax County Cancer Association, as well as her involvement and leadership in multiple extracurricular organizations while a student at Halifax,” Benchmark president/CEO Jay A. Stafford said of Laughorn. “We need young people like Caroline to further their educations and return to Southside Virginia to contribute their skills and talents for the future of our region. It is Benchmark’s privilege to help these students succeed.”

“The goal for our $mart$tart savings and money management program is to help teens build the solid skills that will put them on the road to greater financial security,” explained executive vice president for retail banking LeAnne Emert. “Soon after the program launched, we began hearing great stories about some of our $mart$tart customers and other young people in our area who were contributing time, skills and experiences to improve the quality of life in their schools and communities. We believe those contributions should be rewarded and cultivated to benefit our hometowns.”

Benchmark Community Bank, founded in 1971, is head­quartered in Kenbridge and operates 16 branches throughout Southside Virginia and northern North Carolina.