Keeley Taylor, a senior at Haven High School, wins financial literacy scholarship for her essay titled
“Big Decisions towards a Bright Future.”
TOPEKA, Kan., (Apr. 30, 2015) — Kansas Securities Commissioner Josh Ney and Kansas State Bank Commissioner Deryl Schuster announced the winners of the 2015 Financial Scholars Essay Contest today in an awards ceremony held at the Kansas state capitol. The contest was jointly sponsored by the Office of the Kansas Securities Commissioner (KSC) and the Office of the State Bank Commissioner (OSBC). A total of five scholarships, ranging from $500 to $2500, were awarded to Kansas high school seniors to help cover the cost of tuition at a Kansas school of higher education.
Students were asked to submit an essay profiling an individual whose personal financial decisions impacted the lives of others and applying the wisdom or lessons from that person’s life to their own future financial plans. To be eligible, students must have participated in at least one of three financial literacy programs sponsored by the state agencies: EverFi, the Stock Market Game, or Life$marts.
Keeley Taylor, a senior at Haven High School, was the third place winner in the essay contest and won a $1500 scholarship. She wrote her essay about how financial literacy skills have been passed down from generation to generation from the time when her great grandparents made the commitment to live debt free at ages 18 and 15. They tried to come up with thoughtful ways to save money, including never ordering pop when they went out to eat, which was something that was passed down to Keeley’s grandma, then Keeley’s mom, then to Keeley. The following is an excerpt from her essay: “Going back all the way to my great grandparents, my family’s legacy has been to teach the next generations how to both spend responsibly and to save for the future. I would like to thank my wonderful papa, meme, grandma, and mom for that wonderful gift that I know I will also be passing down to my children.”
Keeley plans to attend Fort Hays State University next year, where she will study to become a nurse anesthetist. She traveled to Topeka for the ceremony along with her great-grandmother Lois Rice, grandparents Dan and Shirley Randall, mother Melanie Little, and teacher Megan Hett. At the capitol, Keeley was also recognized by Governor Sam Brownback and local legislators Senator Terry Bruce and Representative Joe Seiwert.
Other scholarship winners in attendance were: 1st place: Abby Oberle, De Soto High School; 2nd place: Kaitlyn Dinges, Ness City High School; and 4th place: Paden Griffiths, Herington High School. The 5th place winner, Broque Short from Derby High School, was unable to attend due to a prior commitment. De Soto High School’s Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) teacher, Kristina Saladino, was also recognized for her efforts teaching her students financial literacy and for her student receiving the top award. She was given a $150 Visa gift card as a thank you. All students who submitted an essay into the contest received a $10 Amazon gift card to be used toward the purchase of a financial app, tool, or book of their choice.
The commissioners for both of the sponsoring agencies were impressed with the quality of the winning essays and wished the recipients well. “It is inspiring to see so many of our young people making financial responsibility a priority in their lives,” said Ney. “Congratulations to our winners and thank you to all of the participants who entered.”
“I commend every student who participated in the Kansas Financial Scholars Essay Scholarship Contest. It is clear from the essays that students recognize the importance of making sound financial decisions and how those decisions will benefit them in the future,” said Schuster. “I extend my congratulations to our award winners and wish them every success as they pursue their higher education goals.”