CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) – The winners for the SMART529 “When I Grow Up” essay contest for elementary school students and have been announced. The West Virginia State Treasure’s Office and SMART529 celebrated 12 years of the SMART529 “When I Grow Up” essay contest with an award ceremony on Thursday morning at the West Virginia State Culture Center.
State Treasurer John Perdue recognized 15 West Virginia elementary school students for their essays detailing what they want to be when they grow up. The winners were selected from more than 3,300 entries.
Each winner received $500 invested into a SMART529 WV Direct Account. An additional $4,500 was awarded to Jaylynn Gano of East Hardy Early Middle School in Hardy County, after being selected as the grand prize winner during a random drawing at the event.
Each winning student’s school was also recognized and awarded a $500 cash prize to support school programs.
“We are thrilled to partner with Treasurer Perdue to promote college savings in West Virginia,” said Hartford Funds Senior Vice President Jeff Coghan. “We are now seeing some of the first recipients of this award use their winnings to help further their education.”
Listed below are all of the 2019 “When I Grow Up” Contest student winners:
|Keira Winkler||1st grade||Jumping Branch Elementary||Summers||Doctor|
|Rowan Meadows||3rd grade||Maxwell Hill Elementary||Raleigh||Archeologist|
|Elijah Murphy||5th grade||Chapmanville Middle||Logan||Airline Pilot|
|Brooke Sayre||1st grade||Malden Elementary||Kanawha||Animal Keeper|
|Timmothy Henry||3rd grade||Beale Elementary||Mason||Paleontologist|
|Jack-Tyler Creed Rife||4th grade||Kanawha City Elementary||Kanawha||Blacksmith|
|Braylee Ammons||Kindergarten||Ridgedale Elementary||Monongalia||Artist|
|Vincent Cook||2nd grade||Fairmont Catholic||Marion||Business Owner|
|Corbie Campbell||4th grade||Lumberport Elementary||Harrison||Zoo Keeper|
|Stella Ann Marie van|
|Jaylynn Gano||2nd grade||East Hardy Early Middle||Hardy||Biologist|
|Savannah Wilkins||5th grade||East Hardy Early Middle||Hardy||Media Journalist|
|Cash McMahan||1st grade||A.T. Allison Elementary||Hancock||Blue Angel Pilot|
|Asa Brewer||2nd grade||A.T. Allison Elementary||Hancock||Disney Interpreter|
|Karlee Moix||5th grade||Middle Creek Elementary||Ohio||Nurse|
In addition to the student winners, Lumberport Elementary School 4th grade teacher Kimberly Howell was awarded $2,500 cash for her essay about how she planned to educate children about going to college and saving with the SMART529 program.
“We rely on teachers to emphasize the importance of saving for higher education. I am thrilled to we are able to reward one of them for making a special effort to encourage students to think beyond high school,” said Perdue.