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Media Advisory: West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore to announce Smart 529 grand prize winner Friday at 10:30 a.m

WV Press Release Sharing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – State Treasurer Riley Moore will announce the grand prize winner of this year’s SMART529 “When I Grow Up” essay contest at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 16) during a special contest awards ceremony at the state Culture Center in Charleston.

The 15 regional student winners and statewide teacher winner, which were announced earlier this year, their families and school officials have been invited to attend the awards ceremony at the Culture Center on Friday, Sept. 16 at 10:30 a.m. to be officially recognized.

The 15 students will each have an opportunity to read their winning essays prior to the grand prize drawing.

Each regional student winner received $500 to invest into a SMART529 account. An additional $4,500 will be awarded to the grand prize winner, who will be randomly selected and announced during the awards ceremony.

Details for the awards ceremony:

WHAT: SMART529 “When I Grow Up” Essay Contest Awards Ceremony

WHO: State Treasurer Riley Moore

15 Regional Student Winners (listed below) and their families

Teacher Winner Robin Chancey, 5th Grade at Kenna Elementary (Jackson County)

WHEN: 10:30 a.m., Friday, September 16

WHERE: Culture Center Great Hall

State Capitol Complex

Charleston, WV

For media outside the Charleston area, the Office will livestream the event online at www.facebook.com/WVTreasury.

Those interested in interviewing the Treasurer by phone/Skype/Zoom following the event can email [email protected].

The regional winners, their schools and their dream professions are:

2022 “When I Grow Up” Contest Student Winners

Region One:

  • Benjamin Russell, 1st Grade at Chapmanville Primary School, Logan County – Primatologist
  • Malik Mohammed, 3rd Grade at Maxwell Hill Elementary, Raleigh County – Botanist
  • Jersey Gruskievich, 5th Grade at Talcott Elementary, Summers County – Social Worker

Region Two:

  • Aletheia Goodwin, Kindergarten Home School Student, Cabell County – Zookeeper
  • Hayden Vernon, 3rd Grade at Point Harmony Elementary, Kanawha County – Marine Biologist
  • Emma Elizabeth Bonar, 5th Grade at Prichard Elementary, Wayne County – Children’s Counselor

Region Three:

  • Alexander Ammons, Kindergarten at East Dale Elementary, Marion County – Geologist
  • Sam Goodwin, 3rd Grade at Eastwood Elementary, Monongalia County – Seismologist
  • Silas Michael Scott, 4th Grade at Nutter Fort Intermediate, Harrison County – Architect

Region Four:

  • Ethan Smith, 1st Grade at Driswood Elementary, Jefferson County – Structural Collapse Rescue Technician
  • Ellie Eisenbrey, 3rd Grade Home School Student, Randolph County – Activist & Engineer
  • Weston Higson, 4th Grade at Frankfort Intermediate, Mineral County – Fisheries Biologist

Region Five:

  • Kambri Neill, Kindergarten at St. Mary Catholic School, Wood County – Veterinarian
  • Gianna Capri White, 3rd Grade at Our Lady of Peace School, Marshall County – Surgical Oncologist
  • Lacey Pauley, 5th Grade at Steenrod Elementary, Ohio County – Marine Biologist

Background Info:

The “When I Grow Up” student and teacher essay contests are sponsored by SMART529, Hartford Funds and the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office to promote awareness of SMART529 and the need for higher education savings.

More than 2,800 students around the state participated in the contest this year. Essays from three age groups (grades K-1, 2-3, and 4-5) were judged in each of the five geographic regions, for a total of 15 regional winners.

Each regional winner’s school was awarded a $500 cash prize to support school programs.

SMART529 is a qualified tuition program issued by the Board of Trustees of the West Virginia College and Jumpstart Savings Programs and administered by Hartford Funds. Complete information about SMART529 and the “When I Grow Up” essay contest is available at www.SMART529.com.

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