Carolyn Hotchkiss, daughter of Christina and Scott Hotchkiss of Omaha, is the first Nebraska NEST Birthday Baby, Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg announced today at a news conference in the Winter Garden at the First National Bank Tower in Omaha.
Treasurer Stenberg presented Carolyn’s mother with a $529 contribution to a Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST) college savings account for Carolyn, who was born January 13. She is the first NEST Birthday Baby to be chosen in a yearlong NEST sweepstakes honoring Nebraska’s 150th birthday celebration.
Nebraska NEST Birthday Babies has been designated a Legacy program by the Nebraska 150 Commission.
Each month of 2017—to celebrate Nebraska’s 150th birthday—NEST will select one parent or legal guardian of a Nebraska newborn to receive a $529 contribution to a NEST college savings account. The family will be selected through a random drawing of entries submitted online to the NEST website or by mail. In all, 12 newborns and their parents or guardians will be recognized throughout the year.
“I am happy to meet Carolyn and her family and to present Carolyn with the first contribution to her college savings fund. I wish her and her family well in the days and years to come. At NEST, we encourage families to start saving for college when children are newborns like Carolyn,” Stenberg said.
Treasurer Stenberg is Trustee of NEST, and First National Bank of Omaha is Program Manager. Investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council.
“Thank you to everybody. This means a lot to our family. It means a lot to Carolyn,” Christina Hotchkiss said at the news conference. She said she and her husband hadn’t thought about college savings before receiving word about winning the $529 NEST contribution. “This opened our eyes to the fact our kids are growing up. Thank you for getting us started on making those plans.”
Carolyn, who slept through the news conference, has a brother Kyle, 14; brother Austin, 6; and sister Cheyenne, 3.
“Our philosophy at NEST has been to encourage young families to begin saving for their children’s higher education needs when the children are very young, even at birth. That gives families more years to plan and save for college, encourages families to develop regular savings habits, and enables families to save more in the end because of the benefits of compound interest. For these reasons, our Nebraska NEST Birthday Babies sweepstakes fits perfectly with our overall guiding philosophy,” Stenberg said.
“As Program Manager for NEST 529 College Savings Plan, First National Bank is committed to doing our part to pave the financial path to college,” said Stephen Wade, Senior Vice President, Investment Services. “For our 75,000 NEST 529 Savings Plan account holders in Nebraska, and our nearly quarter of a million account holders nationwide, First National Bank has, and will always be, committed to our community and helping more children achieve their dreams of a college education.”
Parents and legal guardians may enter Nebraska NEST Birthday Babies at www.NEST529.com/NewbornDrawing. Entries will be accepted until January 10, 2018, for babies born in calendar year 2017. To allow time for babies born in late December to be entered, the final drawing will take place in early 2018. If a family’s name isn’t drawn in the month the family enters, the name will stay in the drawing throughout the year, giving families plenty of opportunities to be chosen.
NEST is Nebraska’s state-sponsored, tax-advantaged 529 college savings program. State-sponsored 529 college savings programs take their name from Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, which provides tax advantages for owners of these college savings accounts.
Rules for the Nebraska NEST Birthday Babies sweepstakes can be found at www.NEST529.com/NewbornDrawing and treasurer.nebraska.gov/csp/scholarships/. Information about the Nebraska Sesquicentennial can be found at ne150.org.
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 254,000 accounts, including 80,000 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 $21 billion in assets and 5,000 employee associates. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas.