The sixth Nebraska NEST Birthday Baby is Milo Joseph Sedlak, son of Rebecca and Stuart Sedlak of Omaha, Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg announced today.
Milo, who was born May 11 at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha, received a $529 contribution to a Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST) college savings account as part of the Nebraska NEST Birthday Babies drawing in honor of Nebraska’s 150th birthday. He is the sixth Nebraska baby recognized in the drawing sponsored by NEST.
“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 $4.5 billion in assets in more than 252,000 accounts, including 78,000 in Nebraska,” said Treasurer Stenberg, Trustee of NEST.
“We are happy to present this NEST college savings account contribution to Milo and to extend our very best wishes to him and his family. We welcome the Sedlak family to our growing number of satisfied account owners. We are committed to providing responsible ways for young families to save for the higher education needs of their children. Investing early gives families like the Sedlaks more years to plan and save. Investing early helps families develop regular savings habits, allows them to save more because of compound interest, and provides them with substantial tax savings,” said Rachel Biar, director of NEST.
Rebecca Sedlak, an inpatient pharmacist in critical care at Nebraska Medicine, said she learned about the NEST Birthday Babies drawing in a flyer included in the hospital discharge papers the family received after Milo’s birth. Sorting through the papers, she decided to fill out the online form and enter the drawing. She actually submitted two forms: one for Milo and one for his twin brother, Oscar Stuart Sedlak, who is older by 15 minutes.
“I was so excited for Milo to win. It is a great jumpstart for our family. It will help a lot especially with two babies and an older brother,” Rebecca said.
The Sedlaks also intend to establish NEST accounts for baby Oscar and the twins’ big brother, Carson, 2 1/2. Rebecca said the family will put a little extra money in Carson’s account to get him up to where he would have been had they opened an account when he was born.
“Now everyone is paying into education in this family,” said Stuart, who is resuming his education after 20 years managing his family’s business, Kelley’s Hilltop Lanes. He received his associate’s degree from Metropolitan Community College and is beginning studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Rebecca is paying off loans for her pharmacy education at Creighton University. She received her undergraduate degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
Both parents say they would love for their sons to go to college, if that’s the boys’ wishes, and to have good experiences leading to fulfilling and enjoyable careers and life work. Carson already shows an interest in wheels and motors and is both organized and particular about small details, his parents say.
“I hope they enjoy what they do in the long run and work hard at it,” Rebecca said. “Education is important in our household.” Stuart said. In addition to exploring careers, he believes college will help his sons develop critical thinking skills and introduce them to the humanities, “which is important for anyone’s mind to mature.”
The Sedlaks said they had thought about starting to save for their children’s education, but hadn’t acted on it. “It’s hard to start saving for something 18 years down the road even though you know you should,” Stuart said.
“It’s never too early to begin saving for college,” said Deborah Goodkin, Managing Director, Savings Plans, First National Bank of Omaha. “That’s why we offer the NEST Birthday Babies drawings. They provide a head start for Nebraska families, encouraging them to continue growing their savings so their children will be financially prepared for their academic future.”
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 is chosen 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. Other NEST Birthday Babies honored by the Treasurer’s Office, to date, are listed here:
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 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.