Despite the rain that postponed the Omaha Storm Chasers game on Sunday, Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg recognized eight winners in the 2016 NEST “Why I Want to Go to College” writing contest on the concourse of Werner Park in Papillion.
The 14th annual writing contest is co-sponsored by the Omaha Storm Chasers and the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST), a division of the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office. NEST is Nebraska’s 529 state-sponsored college savings program.
Winners receive contributions to Nebraska Educational Savings Trust college savings plans, ranging in value from $500 for third place, $1,000 for second place, and $2,000 for first place. Three winners were chosen in each of Nebraska’s three U.S. congressional districts. Three winners from outside Nebraska also were chosen, but did not attend the Sunday recognition ceremony.
“While we regret that weather prevented us from recognizing the writing contest winners at home plate before the Storm Chasers game, as we usually do, we thank the winners and their parents for making the trip to Papillion and being with us for the presentation,” State Treasurer Don Stenberg said.
“Presenting NEST scholarships to winners in our ‘Why I Want to Go to College’ writing contest at Werner Park, as well as talking with the students and their families, is a highlight of the year,” he said.
“We are pleased to recognize these students for their writing skills as well as for their plans for higher education and their aspirations for productive careers in medicine, journalism, and the arts. One winner plans to work with special needs children; another plans to design buildings for special purposes; and still another plans to study grassland ecology. These stories fit well into our mission at NEST: To encourage children and young people to dream big and to help parents and grandparents plan for those big dreams,” Stenberg said.
A total of 1,133 writing entries were received this year from all across the United States. The contest was announced in January and entries were due March 18. Preliminary judging was done by students and faculty in the College of Education at the University of Nebraska-Omaha with final selections made by Treasurer Stenberg.Details about the 15th annual “Why I Want to Go to College” will be announced in January 2017.
Winners of the 2016 contest are listed below:
1st Congressional District— Nebraska
|First:||Amelia Knosp||Fremont Middle School||Fremont, NE|
|Second:||Gloria Ovwigho||Lincoln Lutheran Junior High School||Palmyra, NE|
|Third:||John Boesen||Malcolm Public Schools||Malcolm, NE|
2nd Congressional District— Nebraska
|First:||Eddie Schweikert||Westside Middle School||Omaha, NE|
|Second:||Ruth Isaacson||Gretna Middle School||Gretna, NE|
|Third:||Jayleesha Cooper||Holy Name Catholic School||Omaha, NE|
3rd Congressional District— Nebraska
|First:||Emmalee Harder||Randolph Public Schools||Belden, NE|
|Second:||Weston Reineke||Loup County Public School||Taylor, NE|
|Third:||Sheridan Wilson||Arthur County Schools||Lemoyne, NE|
|First:||Bree Cleveland||Family of Christ Christian School||Tampa, FL|
|Second:||Adway Wadekar||Sarah W. Gibbons Middle School||Westborough, MA|
|Third:||Jacob Mohnacs||Harrington Middle School||Mt. Laurel, NJ|
NEST is a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan and provides four plans to help make saving for college simple and affordable: NEST Direct College Savings Plan, the NEST Advisor College Savings Plan, the TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan, and the State Farm College Savings Plan. The Nebraska State Treasurer serves as Program Trustee. First National Bank of Omaha serves as Program Manager, and all investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council. Families nationwide are saving for college using Nebraska’s 529 College Savings Plans, which have more than 261,000 accounts, including 84,000 in Nebraska. Visit NEST529.com and treasurer.nebraska.gov for more information.
About First National Bank of Omaha
First National Bank of Omaha is a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska. First National of Nebraska and its affiliates have more than $23 billion in assets and 5,000 employee associates. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas.