Kendall Weber, daughter of Jamie and Kevin Weber of Plainview, is the fourth Nebraska NEST Birthday Baby, State Treasurer Don Stenberg announced Wednesday at a news conference at Faith Regional Health Services in Norfolk. Kendall, who was born March 30 at Faith, received a $529 contribution to a Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST) college savings account.
“We feel good to know we have a plan in place,” said Jamie Weber, speaking of the new NEST college savings plan for Kendall and existing NEST savings plans for the Webers’ older children, Brendan, 11, and Tessa, 8. The Webers opened Brendan’s NEST account when he was 3 and Tessa’s account when she was a newborn.
Mrs. Weber said the NEST accounts will help the family “feel a little less overwhelmed” when it comes time for the children to plan for college. She said her hopes and dreams for her children include attending college and following their hearts into careers that satisfy their passions. With college savings accounts in place, she says her children will see “that their dreams aren’t so far out of reach.”
When asked to comment, Kevin Weber said about his wife, “She said it all.” Weber, who farms with his father and brother, graduated in agribusiness from Northeast Community College, and Mrs. Weber has a degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She works for Meuret Grain Co. in Brunswick.
Kendall is the latest baby to be recognized in the State Treasurer’s Nebraska NEST Birthday Babies drawing, a yearlong sweepstakes honoring Nebraska’s 150th birthday celebration. Nebraska NEST Birthday Babies has been designated a Legacy program by the Nebraska 150 Commission.
“Nebraska NEST Birthday Babies is intended to encourage parents and grandparents to set up Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST) accounts when children are very young, even at birth. Focusing on the next generation of Nebraskans by helping young families save for college is our way to celebrate Nebraska’s 150th birthday. We also want to build awareness of NEST, Nebraska’s excellent state-sponsored 529 college savings program which now has more than $4.4 billion in assets in more than 250,000 accounts, including 76,000 in Nebraska,” said Treasurer Stenberg, Trustee of NEST.
“Investing in NEST when children are very young benefits families in many ways. Investing early gives families more years to plan and save for college, encourages families to develop regular savings habits, enables families to save more because of compound interest, and provides substantial tax savings,” he said.
Nebraska NEST Birthday Babies “does nothing but enhance the concern for Nebraska’s children,” said Barbara Petersen, director of Women’s and Children’s Services at Faith Regional Health Services. “Just as the NEST Birthday Baby program and the state of Nebraska understand that children are our future, we at FRHS also want to give babies and their families the best start in life. It is my personal goal to assure every family has the experience they choose when here at Faith Regional.”
Petersen said family-centered care is critical to the mission of Faith Regional Health Services, where 900 babies are delivered annually. Four obstetricians, a family practice physician and an advanced practice nurse midwife provide excellent obstetrical care to women in the service area, she said, in addition to the four pediatricians and many family practice physicians who provide exceptional care for newborns and children.
“From one mother to another, I extend special congratulations to all the NEST 529 birthday babies. Here at NEST 529, we try to get each of our account owners on a financial track to help them achieve a lifetime of success, in college and beyond,” said Deborah Goodkin, Managing Director, Savings Plans, First National Bank of Omaha. “We encourage families to invest in their young ones from an early age. It is never too early to start financial planning for your children.”
First National Bank is Program Manager of NEST.
Each month of 2017—to celebrate Nebraska’s 150th birthday—NEST will select a parent or legal guardian of a Nebraska newborn to receive a $529 contribution to a NEST account. The family will be chosen through a random drawing of entries submitted online to the NEST website or by mail.
The first NEST Birthday Baby was Carolyn Hotchkiss, daughter of Christina and Scott Hotchkiss of Omaha. The second Birthday Baby was Elijah Engel, son of Locke Engel and Rebecca Nelms of Waverly. The third was Gable Butt, son of Ivie and Myles Butt of Central City. In all, 12 newborns and their parents or guardians will be recognized throughout the year.
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.
Rules for the Nebraska NEST Birthday Babies 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.
About Faith Regional Health Services
Faith Regional Health Services is a 131-bed acute care hospital, located in Norfolk, Nebraska. Obstetrics services include Parents Plus Program, Childbirth Education, Labor and Delivery, including C-sections, Postpartum Care, Nursery and Special Care Nursery, Hugs and Kisses Security System, and Lactation Consulting. Nearly 1,000 babies are born at Faith Regional each year.
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 $21 billion in assets and 5,000 employee associates. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas.