Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg today introduced Keyley Nicole Nelson-Scott of Elkhorn, the 12th Nebraska NEST Birthday Baby to receive a $529 contribution to a Nebraska Educational Savings Trust college savings account.
Keyley is the daughter of Ashley Nelson and Keynan Scott. She was born February 12, 2017, at Methodist Women’s Hospital in Omaha.
Keyley Nicole is the last Birthday Baby to be chosen in the year-long drawing that highlighted the state’s 529 college savings program and celebrated Nebraska’s 150th birthday. Nebraska NEST Birthday Babies was designated a Legacy program by the Nebraska 150 Commission because of the long-lasting impact it would have on 12 Nebraska families.
“We are sad to see this wonderful sweepstakes come to a close. We have truly appreciated the opportunity to acquaint more young families with our excellent college savings program and to meet young parents from across the state and learn about their hopes and dreams for their children and their approach to the challenges they face,” said Treasurer Stenberg, Trustee of NEST.
Ashley Nelson said she was excited to learn her daughter was getting an early start on her college savings. She said she was grateful to her mother, Julie Gall of Elkhorn, for helping set up Keyley’s NEST account, following a tradition established a generation ago. Ashley’s grandfather set up a college savings account for Ashley when she was young and encouraged Ashley’s mother to plan ahead.
Ashley said it was difficult for her mother to start college savings at the time “because she was a single mom and money was tight, but she’s so glad she did.”
As for her daughter, Ashley hopes Keyley lives out her own dreams. “I hope she does what she wants to do. I want to see her do well for herself. And I want to provide a good life for her,” she said. Ashley is studying criminal justice at Metropolitan Community College and someday would like to work in an administrative position in a probation office. She works part-time as an aide in a before- and after-school program through the Omaha Public Schools Foundation.
Keyley is a happy girl who loves eating, especially yogurt bites, reading books and playing with blocks, her mother said.
A total of 715 eligible entries were received in the Birthday Baby sweepstakes, which was announced January 6, 2017, at a news conference at CHI Health Good Samaritan in Kearney. A parent or guardian could enter the sweepstakes by filling out a form online or by mail. Entries were accepted between January 6, 2017, and 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 was January 15, 2018.
To qualify, the parents or guardians of the baby must be Nebraska residents.
“The Sesquicentennial was an opportunity for all Nebraskans to celebrate the accomplishments of Nebraska’s proud past 150 years and to look to the future with a bold vision for our families, our institutions, and our state. Babies born in 2017 will graduate from high school in 2035 and institutions of higher learning a few years later, better prepared than ever to meet demands and challenges we can only imagine. We at NEST wish them all the very best,” Stenberg said.
Previous Birthday Babies and their parents are listed below:
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 79,000 in Nebraska. Visit NEST529.com and treasurer.nebraska.gov for more information.
About First National Bank of Omaha
First National Bank is a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska. First National of Nebraska is the largest privately owned banking company in the United States. First National 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.