Primis Bank Wraps Up Inaugural STEM Challenge for Female Students

The 1st STEM Pursuit Challenge presented by Primis Bank provided next-level opportunities for the participating students by having them work together to solve real-world problems. 

RICHMOND, V.a. — Last week, The 1st STEM Pursuit Challenge presented by Primis Bank concluded with a final awards ceremony with the participating teams, comprised of female students from Virginia State University and Appomattox Regional Governor’s School. 

As a tech-driven bank, Primis understands the importance of advancing STEM opportunities for women and minorities in the communities that they serve. The 1st STEM Pursuit Challenge gave these students the opportunity to develop their skills, explore technology advances and promote collaboration to inspire the next generation of STEM professionals.  

The participating teams had six weeks to develop an AI-driven solution that helped a hypothetical bank optimize its pricing strategies for various financial products and services. Teams presented their solutions to a panel of judges, where they were assessed on the effectiveness of their optimization system, accuracy of the pricing recommendations, alignment with market dynamics and customer behavior, ethical considerations, as well as the quality of their documentation and presentations. The panel consisted of:  

  • Deborah Diaz, Primis Board of Directors member, former Chief Technology Officer at NASA, and former Chief Information Officer for Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security 
  • Al Pearson, Primis Senior Vice President and Director of CRA Compliance 
  • Dennis Zember, Primis Chief Executive Officer 

“Watching these young women come together and deliver remarkable results has made all of us so proud,” said Diane Beirne. “One of the underlying goals of this challenge was to showcase the abilities of these students and undergraduates while offering them the opportunity to advance themselves in the STEM field. We knew from the beginning that the students chosen to compete in this challenge had the determination to rise to the occasion to craft some truly amazing solutions to real-life problems that many financial institutions are going through today — and the work showed. I just wanted to congratulate all the students on a job well done over the course of this challenge, and we are looking forward to watching what they will accomplish in the future.” 

The winning team was announced after thorough presentations were given at the final awards ceremony, held on Wednesday November 8. There, Deborah Diaz presented the each of the students on the winning team with $500 scholarships to help them pursue further education. The second place team, were also awarded $250 scholarships for all their hard work and accomplishments. Dennis Zember closed the event by surprising both Virginia State University and Appomattox Regional Governor’s School with $2,000 donations as a thank you for their commitment to providing their students with opportunities to succeed. 

One of the main focuses of Primis’ community engagement are empowering women and girls and sharpening the minds of all generations. The 1st STEM Pursuit Challenge gave Primis the opportunity to tackle both at the same time, giving these girls the support and opportunities to help reach their fullest potential.  

For questions about The 1st STEM Pursuit Challenge presented by Primis Bank, contact Diane Beirne, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at [email protected]. To learn more about Primis’ community engagement, visit their website:  

About Primis

Managing more than $3.85 billion in assets, Primis is the first bank to get it right. Primis brings the backing of an FDIC institution with the brains of a tech company — offering both security and ease; a solid foundation that’s future proof; and sophisticated offerings that are super simple to navigate. Primis breaks through all the fine print, wait times, and red tape — bringing to market services that actually serve and solutions that solve real life problems. Some say Primis is doing things different, we say we’re doing things right.

Media Contact

Mandi Gilbert
SVP, Director of Marketing
[email protected]