Ten-year-old Liam Sprinkle and his mom, Shamim Okolloh, a Little Rock-based banker, recently announced the release of their co-authored book, “Ella The Banker.” Told through the eyes of Ella, based on Liam’s eight-year-old sister, the story follows an elementary class on an adventure to learn about the world of banking.

 

Liam was inspired by his sister, Ella, who dreams of becoming a banker like their mom. The book encourages girls to consider a career in commercial banking because women, especially women of color, are often underrepresented in the field. Last January, the mother-son duo teamed up to co-author their first book, turning Liam’s dream into a reality. At the time, he was in the fourth grade.

 

“Ella The Banker” represents the possibilities for young girls to see, believe and become whatever they choose,” said Shamim Okolloh, co-author, and vice president and community outreach officer at Encore Bank. “Writing this book with my son was a way for us to share our family’s story, enhance children’s understanding of banks while contributing to the broader goal of empowering future generations of girls to consider commercial banking.”

 

Okolloh was born and raised in Kenya. A graduate of Spelman College and The Clinton School of Public Service, she transitioned from the nonprofit sector to banking. Based in Little Rock, she is raising her two children, Liam and Ella, and serves unbanked and underbanked families as an advocate for upward economic mobility.

 

Mayor Frank Scott Jr. recently proclaimed Jan. 9 as “Ella The Banker” Day, saying the profound impact of “Ella The Banker” extends far beyond its pages, and emphasizing the importance of fostering inclusivity and diversity within the banking sector and the vital need for widespread financial literacy education in our communities.

 

If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of the book, it’s available now on Amazon.

 

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