Texas native Emilee Sinner learned about the importance of financial education at an early age. As a teenager, she owned and operated her very own lemonade stand with Lemonade Day Fort Hood Area and thereafter, set her sights on a fruitful career in finance.
Learning about personal finance
At the age of 12, Sinner attended her first Lemonade Day with her mother and was quickly inspired to open her own stand. After a few years as a patron, she had the opportunity to participate in the educational program and knew that if she wanted to succeed, she would have to create a unique concept that allowed for her lemonade to stand out above the rest.
Sinner’s stand featured fusion-based lemonades with flavors such as strawberry, peach, raspberry and more. Each beverage was handcrafted with fresh lemons and a fruit-flavored syrup of the guest’s choice.
“Financial literacy is extremely important because it’s a tool that is necessary to manage finances,” said Sinner. “Growing up you learn the basics to managing money but with Lemonade Day, it taught me personal responsibility with managing my money, which helps me become financially stable.”
For three seasons, she successfully owned and operated her own lemonade business and during the process, learned the key components of financial management such as earning, saving, investing, spending, borrowing and protecting.
Young entrepreneur to banking professional
After participating in Lemonade Day for over three years, Sinner jumped at the opportunity to become the Lemonade Day intern at First National Bank Texas and worked to execute a virtual-based event due to the pandemic.
Since January 2020, she has assisted in the planning and execution of the financial education-based event and manages a variety of day-to-day tasks including creating content for email communications, public relations and social media. Through the internship, she enjoys the opportunity to be able to pass down her knowledge of financial capability that she learned as a young adult during Lemonade Day.
“I love seeing the potential that the children have,” Sinner added. “Getting to see a glimpse of their creativity can be very intriguing, making you wonder what all they will be capable of once they get older.”
During the off season, Sinner was offered the position of personal banker at a First National Bank Texas location inside Walmart. There she learned the ins and outs of the banking system and had the opportunity to work with customers and help patrons on a day-to-day basis, while also expanding her knowledge of the industry.
In January 2021, she returned to her duties as the Lemonade Day intern and embarked on her second season to inspire youth to become the next generation of entrepreneurs. As a result of her hard work and dedication as both an intern and personal banker, First National Bank Texas recently offered her the role of financial services representative where she will be a part of the customer care team that is responsible to provide customer service support for all banks customers.
This month, Sinner will share her personal story about Lemonade Day and how she grew to love the banking industry at the annual Texas Financial Literacy Summit hosted by the Texas Bankers Foundation and the Texas Jump$tart Coalition, July 27-28.
Sinner is a graduate of the Killeen ISD Early College High School program. She earned both her high school diploma and associate degree before heading to Texas A&M University Central Texas in 2020. There, she is working toward her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and is expected to graduate in Fall 2022. Following her undergraduate studies, she plans to get her master’s degree in finance.
History of Lemonade Day
Twelve years ago, First National Bank Texas and Fort Hood National Bank joined together to sponsor and support Lemonade Day in the Killeen-Fort Hood area. Since 2009, the input and support from these organizations have led to more than 25,000 local children participating in the program.
The community-wide event encourages K-12 students to start, own and operate their own business, “a lemonade stand” and aims to help the next generation learn essential entrepreneurial skills and valuable life lessons.
“Learning about running a business can be tedious,” added Sinner. “It’s important to pay back your investor if you chose to have one, spend some of the profit you make because you worked hard for it, save some of your profit for the future because you never know what the future holds and share some with the community as it’s important to invest in the community that invested in you.”
Within the past 12 years, the event has generated over $112,036 in revenue and donated over $41,000 to charities.
Banking in Killeen
First National Bank Texas remains dedicated to providing customers with quality financial products and services. The community bank was originally founded in 1901 in the Central Texas town of Killeen, only 19 years after the city was established. First National Bank Texas boasts over $3 billion in assets and operates in over 330 locations in Texas, Arizona, Arkansas and New Mexico.
Aiming to provide customers with great banking solutions and world-class service, First National Bank Texas offers seven-day banking with extended hours, complete with digital solutions and innovative customer-friendly services such as a variety of checking and savings accounts, business accounts, CDs, IRAs, credit cards, consumer and business loans and mortgages.
Outside of the bank
Hailing from a large family, Sinner enjoys spending time with her family including her mom and stepfather, Nieomi and Johnny, as well as her siblings. She is the youngest of seven children.
She can often be found hiking, spending time at the dog park and running errands with her 70-pound goldendoodle, Teddy. In addition, she enjoys watching movies, reading novels and shopping.