Avoca 8th grader wins Money Smart Essay Contest
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County (CCE-Steuben) has announced the winner of their recent Money Smart Kid Essay Contest. As part of the national Money Smart Week campaign April 22-29, 2017, one of the special activities invited Steuben County youth in 6-8th grades to write an essay on if they thought there was a connection between financial and physical health as well as answering what a policymaker could do to help promote financial healthier citizens.
The winning essay was from Lexxi Clancy, age 14, 8th grade, Avoca Central School. She won a cash prize donated by Serv-U Credit Union, Chemung Canal Trust Company and Steuben Trust Company, all who partnered in this contest with CCE-Steuben.
The contest is designed to help students develop a knowledge of money management skills such as decision-making related to spending and saving, investing, and use of credit, etc. appropriate to their age and grade level.
Katrina Cavagna, Avoca English Teacher, put the essay opportunity on the board, and Lexxi took advantage of the contest. Lexxi looked up statistics to back up her statements, and said that people who cannot provide the necessities for themselves face both poor physical health as well as mental health. She went on to say that policymakers could assist with temporary housing and promote the motivation to plan ahead and save money.
Lexxi says her father would like her to go into a field related to writing, but she is interested in working in a mental health facility. She plans to use her award to help remodel her bedroom.
Cavagna said, “I wish more kids would do this- it’s connected to the real world. Once you graduate high school it’s stark reality.” She said she was never asked to think about finances that early, and she just had to figure it out on her own. Nancy Reigelsperger, Financial Educator for CCE-Steuben, said she has to coach a number of people who are already in financial trouble, and it would be nice to educate the youth earlier.
Money Smart Committee Members who assisted in the essay selection process included Barbara Hubbell of the United Way of the Southern Tier, Pam Colomaio of Chemung Canal Trust Company, Carrie Foley of ServU Credit Union, and Nancy Reigelsperger of CCE-Steuben.