09/07/2017
Bright Futures for 2017 SMART529 “When I Grow Up” Contest Winners

The West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office and SMART529 celebrated 10 years of the SMART529 “When I Grow Up” essay contest for elementary school students with an award ceremony this morning at the West Virginia State Culture Center. State Treasurer John Perdue recognized fifteen West Virginia students for their essays detailing what they want to be when they grow up.

The regional winners were selected from more than 3,000 entries. Each winner received $500 invested into a SMART529 WV Direct account. An additional $4,500 was awarded to Madalyn Brown of Berlin McKinney Elementary in Wyoming 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.

“I want you all to be successful,” Perdue told the winners. “The best way to guarantee success is by continuing your education after high school.”

The contest gives kindergarten through fifth grade students a chance to share in nearly $20,000 in SMART529 savings for higher education. Essays from three age groups (grades K-1, 2-3, and 4-5) were judged in each of the five regions, for a total of 15 winners.

“We are thrilled to partner with Treasurer Perdue to promoting college savings in West Virginia,” said Hartford Funds Senior Vice President Jeff Coghan. “After 10 years, we are now seeing some of the first recipients of this award use their winnings to help further their education.”

2017 Teacher Contest Winner
In addition to the student winners, Rock Branch Elementary School second grade teacher, Lori Perry, 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.

The “When I Grow Up” student and teacher essay contests are sponsored by the SMART529 College Savings Program, The Hartford and the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office to promote awareness of SMART529 and the need for high education savings.

Information about this year’s essay contests were made available through www.SMART529.com, on Facebook, in SMART529’s school newsletter, and through direct mail publications.

SMART529 is a qualified tuition program issued by the West Virginia Prepaid College Tuition and Savings Program Board of Trustees and administered by Hartford Funds. Complete information about the SMART529 program contest, including the 2017 “When I Grow Up” essay contest, is available at www.SMART529.com.

2017 “When I Grow Up” Contest Student Winners


Winner’s Name

Grade

School

County

Occupation

Abigail Ellis

Kindergarten

Justice Elementary

Logan

Doctor

Taylor McGlothin

3rd

Glenwood Elementary

Mercer

Surgeon

Madalyn Brown

4th

Berlin McKinney
Elementary

Wyoming

Biomedical Scientist

Bailee King

1st

Sacred Heart Elementary

Kanawha

Art Teacher

Xavier Goodwin

3rd

Homeschooled

Cabell

Computer Engineer

Lane Smith

5th

Point Harmony

Kanawha

Civil Engineer

Haniya Rafique

1st

Johnson Elementary

Harrison

Chef

Mylo Snyder

3rd

Union Elementary

Upshur

Oncologist

Joshua Love

4th

Simpson Elementary

Harrison

Construction Engineer

William Mills

1st

Homeschooled

Hampshire

Police Officer

Syrah George

3rd

Tomahawk Intermediate

Berkeley

Dance Teacher

Jamila Fleet

5th

Homeschooled

Berkeley

Business Owner

Allie Fink

1st

A.T. Allison Elementary

Hancock

Story Board
Artist

Meadow O’Rourke

2nd

A.T. Allison Elementary

Hancock

Special Needs
Specialist

Rachel Edinger

5th

Woodsdale Elementary

Ohio

Interior Designer

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West Virginia State Treasurer's Office
1900 Kanawha Boulevard
Capitol Complex Building #1, Room E-145
Charleston, West Virginia 25305
304-558-5000 Toll Free: 800-422-7498

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