Citi Awards $39,500 in College Scholarships to Winners of Fourth Annual National Essay Contest
New York, NY – Citi today announces that it will award a total of $39,500 in college scholarships to seventeen high school students for their winning essay entries describing a personal experience that positively affected their financial management skills. According to the latest Citi Credit-ED/Synovate national survey, only half of college upperclassmen are confident about their ability to handle their financial responsibilities after graduation. But the high school junior and senior winners of the fourth annual Citi/Scholastic National Essay Contest are already building a solid foundation in financial literacy before they enter college. A joint effort between Citi’s Credit-ED Program and Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education, and media company, the essay contest requires high school students to put their writing and money management skills into practice for a chance to win a college scholarship.
The essay contest is part of Citi’s effort to deliver its award-winning Credit-ED Program into high schools nationwide and raise awareness of the critical need for financial education among young adults. The initiative also includes lessons on money-management and writing skills, and provides free in-class materials to English teachers, guidance counselors and business/economics teachers to help high-school students prepare for college.
“The thousands of essay entries we received demonstrate that high school students are learning the importance of money management through real-life experiences,” said Anthony Merola, Senior Vice President, Citi Cards. “It’s never too early to empower today’s youth with the tools, information, and knowledge they need to manage money and educate them on the responsible use of credit. Our annual essay contest with Scholastic is just one component of our comprehensive Credit-ED program where Citi provides the free tools needed to develop the critical skills necessary to be financially responsible throughout their lives.“
High school junior and seniors from across the country submitted a 500-word entry answering the following personal finance question: “Describe an event or experience that had a positive influence on the way that you approach financial management. Outline the most helpful thing you learned and describe how it led to the development of specific skills.”
Entrants drew from a wide range of events and experiences that taught them fiscal responsibility, such as:
* Learning to be meticulous and vigilant about money from a father whose specialized job skills transferred him to another state, in order to support his family back home.
* Earning and saving money for three long years for a made-to-order violin, teaching the student to save money with the future in mind, instead of spending sporadically.
* Adapting a mother’s analogy, “Know how much your blanket can extend before you stretch out your legs” to money management.
“As a leader in children’s education, Scholastic is continually seeking innovative classroom programs for students that encourage a lifetime of learning,” said Shelley White, Editorial Director, Scholastic Marketing Partners. “Our initiative with Citi’s Credit-ED Program delivers on promoting not only writing skills but also financial literacy that they’ll draw upon for the rest of their lives.”
Essays were judged on creativity, clear content, logical thought process and proper use of language. This year’s essay contest winners are:
Grand Prize Winners, each receiving a $15,000 scholarship check for college tuition:
* Katherine Phillips of Aurora, CO
* Wenxvan Hu of Lake Mary, FL
Second-prize winners, each receiving a $1,500 scholarship check:
* Lis Holte of Brainerd, MN
* Anum Ghazipura of Atlanta, GA
* Kyle Bonick of Merrillville, IN
* Samantha Morgenstern of Thousand Oaks, CA
* Samantha Schlemm of Secaucus, NJ
Third-prize winners, each receiving a $200 scholarship check:
* Jared Schreiner of Burnt Hills, NY
* Maria Surat of Roanoke, VA
* Kaitlyn Findley of Warrensburg, MO
* Rachel Deurlein of Suwanee, GA
* Liza Woolston of Brunswick, MO
* Laura Bonhard of Milford, MI
* Marla Coyne of Hillsborough, NJ
* Sara Roashan of Bolingbrook, IL
* David West, Jr. of Pembroke, MA
* Brianna Willinger of Bowling Green, OH
Teachers of the winners were also awarded prizes totaling $10,500 to use towards professional development and classroom materials.
Since its inception in 2000, Citi’s Credit-ED Program, an ongoing and comprehensive credit education initiative for students, has distributed more than five million credit education materials for free to students, administrators and parents.
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