Six young Nebraskans have begun their nest egg for college by earning a big contribution to the NEST fund. NEST is the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust, Nebraska's state-sponsored college savings plan.
Don Stenberg, Nebraska state treasurer, recognized the winners and runners-up at this year's Husker Harvest Days near Grand Island.
Three first-place winners each received a $3,500 contribution to a NEST Direct College Savings Plan, while three runners-up each received a $1,000 contribution to the plan.
In the 7-9 age group, Landri Loos of Litchfield, age 8, was the winner, while Madyson Sievers of Wayne was runner-up.
In the 10-11 age group, Allison Rippe of Indianola, 10, was the winner, while Sophia Harder of Belden, 11, was runner-up.
In the 12-13 age group, Leigh Jahnke, Bancroft, 13, was winner, and Abby Hadenfeldt, Cairo, 13, was runner-up.
The scholarship contest was announced in early June and ran through Aug. 2. Children of Nebraska farming families were invited to submit essays describing what farming means in their lives and how growing up in farm families influences their higher education goals.
"Thank you to all the young people who participated in our NEST on the Farm scholarship contest and who wrote so persuasively about their connection to Nebraska farm life and their educational goals for the future," Stenberg said. "These young people represent the best Nebraska has to offer—our young people who work hard, who strive to do well in school and their activities, and who value their families and their agricultural roots."
Money for the "Nest on the Farm" scholarships comes from First National Bank of Omaha, program manager for NEST, as part of its scholarship initiative.
NEST is a "tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan" and provides four college savings--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 the program trustee. Currently, more than 58,000 families in Nebraska and more than 205,000 nationwide are saving for their children's higher education through NEST. For more information, visit www.NEST529.com or www.treasurer.org.