Official or not, sometimes Arvest just helps anyway
Alex Sanchez' employer, Arvest Bank, is an long-time partner to Tilles Elementary. But the Kelley Highway branch bank where he works as a business development officer is a neighbor to Kimmons Junior High School.
When Kimmons principal David Watkins asked Sanchez for a favor, he and Arvest said yes anyway. Many of the Partners in Education are generous to a host of schools in addition to their official partner.
Sanchez had already visited the school to speak at a Benchmark test pep rally when Watkins asked him to help motivate the students by cooking on the big Arvest barbecue grill.
How could he say no? Sanchez recalled. According to Watkins, Sanchez also sweated his way through cooking for 500 for a Kimmons football game tailgate party.
As an Arvest liaison to the Hispanic community, Sanchez also speaks at the Adult Education Center in a "Banking 101" class for English as a second language students. After graduating from Northside High School and the University of Arkansas with a business degree, Sanchez worked in his father's small Fort Smith business. He draws on that experience to try to bring more minority businesses to Arvest and help connect them with services to help their ventures grow.
Like many who volunteer, Sanchez is a devoted father and a leader in other organizations. He is president of the Crisis Intervention Center board and is developing a soccer league for low-income kids.