Courtesy Zions Bank
A. Scott Anderson, president and CEO of Zions Bank.

A. Scott Anderson, president and CEO of Zions Bank, remembers well his experience as a Sterling Scholar in drama from Skyline High School.

"I was encouraged by our drama teacher to go into that area," Anderson said in an interview with Deseret News. "My mother had majored in theater up at the University of Utah, she had performed in some of the early Pioneer Theatre plays and then she taught speech out of our home growing up. So I really sensed a love for that."

Anderson said being a part of the Sterling Scholar program helped him learn important lessons about camaraderie in competition. "Even though you’re competing against each other or were from different high schools, there is a great deal of excitement of being a part of this," he said.

"Out of that competition came some real insights as to what is important. What are you good at? What do you need to do to compete better than you did? I thought it was just a great experience."

The Sterling Scholar program is important because of its focus on education and the value of doing well in a variety of areas, Anderson said. "Education is the key to not only economic prosperity, but is the key to individual prosperity and advancement."

In order to help students achieve their educational goals, Zions Bank offers the Zions Bank Service Award, a $2,000 scholarship to a Sterling Scholar nominee who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to service and citizenship.

"We provide scholarships to encourage and reward people who are trying to make the most of their educational experience and help them achieve their goals," Anderson said. "By doing that, we think they’ll come back and be more productive as a member of our economy. They may start a new business, they may create additional jobs, they may create and discover new technologies, and it will all make our economy more vibrant."

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Giving some advice to this year's Sterling Scholar participants, Anderson said, "Continue to dream and continue to work to achieve your dreams." He also said preparation is important. "If you take the time to prepare, you’ll always do well. You may not always win, but you’ll always do well and you’ll always be ready for the next opportunity that comes along." Preparing gives one hope for the future.

Anderson also congratulated all the high school students competing for the Sterling Scholar award. "I think it’s amazing what our schools are turning out, the quality that we have and how well they’re doing."