The Fantastic Future Me Tour, sponsored by First National Bank of Omaha and Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg, will open Thursday, May 26, at Keene Memorial Library, 1030 N. Broad St., in Fremont. The exhibit will be located in the children’s area and accessible during open hours through August 19.
First National Bank of Omaha is Program Manager of the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST) 529 College Savings Plans. Treasurer Stenberg is Trustee.
The Fantastic Future Me tour features an interactive exhibit where children envision themselves in future roles by creating personalized, one-of-a-kind avatars. The exhibit will kick off with an open house from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with refreshments provided by First National Bank of Fremont.
Representatives from different career paths will be available to talk to kids and their parents about what it’s like to be a firefighter, police officer, and many more vocations. Before stopping in Fremont, the tour has made stops at nine libraries in Nebraska where it was met with enthusiasm and attracted more than 170,000 visitors.
As a part of the Fantastic Future Me tour, NEST is offering incentives for families to begin saving for college. The first 50 families to open new NEST accounts using a location-specific promo code will each receive a $25 contribution into an account. And all new accounts using the promo code will be entered in the drawing to win a $1,000 scholarship. Official guidelines are available at www.NEST529.com/scholarships.
"The Keene Memorial Library is excited to be a partner in this high-quality project," said interim Library Director Laura England-Biggs. "With our richness in resources, educational classes for youth, and community partnership with parents and teachers, our library helps make educational goals a reality. A child's fun exploration of future opportunities in life through this exhibit fits well with our library's educational mission. It’s a fun, exciting way for our youth to learn about careers, opportunities, and saving!"
"NEST is committed to encouraging parents and children to dream of the future," said Deborah Goodkin, Managing Director of Savings Plans at First National Bank of Omaha. "The Fantastic Future Me Tour furthers that commitment by providing families across Nebraska with information and incentives to get a jump start on saving for college. Recent studies have shown that children are six times more likely to attend college if they have a savings account in their name. Children saving money in banks and parents saving in NEST 529 College Savings Plans help children and parents together begin to achieve those dreams."
"At NEST, we talk about the importance of children dreaming for their futures and parents and grandparents saving for those dreams. The theme fits perfectly with this traveling exhibit as children explore career possibilities through Fantastic Future Me. How these children envision their futures is up to them, but the adults in their lives have a very important role to play in how the children get there," said Treasurer Stenberg.
In the Fantastic Future Me exhibit, children take photos of their faces using a large touch screen and camera and then drag and drop elements representing careers and grown-up roles onto their own "Future Me" creations. Children mix and match their personal interests and future aspirations to create one-of-a-kind future selves. Careers and roles range from artist to programmer, scientist to teacher, pilot and even President of the United States.
Future Me images can be shared by email and on Facebook and Twitter. When the email arrives in the user’s inbox, it includes the one-of-a-kind Future Me avatar along with messages about dreaming for the future and saving for those dreams.
Fantastic Future Me was created by Omaha Children’s Museum and Gallup. Gallup’s research shows that excitement about the future and thinking about oneself in a positive future role creates hope. More hopeful people go to school more often, get better grades, and even live longer than people who are not hopeful. Thinking about what they want to be when they grow up is one way that children can get excited about planning for their futures and understanding the steps necessary to get there. Future Me helps children do all of this while having fun.
About Keene Memorial Library
Keene Memorial Library is the gateway for the people of our community to achieve a lifetime of learning and literacy. Keene Memorial Library promotes the Every Child Ready to Read Initiative of the American Library Association. We want students to be prepared and ready to read when they go to school and to succeed in school and in life!
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.