Six young Nebraskans came to Husker Harvest Days to start their nest egg for college. The six 9-through-13 year-olds were top places in the second annual "NEST on the Farm" scholarship contest, sponsored by the Nebraska State Treasurer and First National Bank.
Youth entering the contest submitted essays about their connection to Nebraska farm life and their educational goals for the future. Winners and runners-ups in three age categories were recognized by State Treasurer Don Stenberg in the Nebraska Farmer Hospitality Tent at the show this year. Winners also read their essays.
Those recognized were Morayah Cupp of Champion, winner, and Tucker Stagemeyer of Page, runner-up, in the 7-9 age division; Megan Green of Arlington, winner, and Jace Stagemeyer of Page, runner-up, in the 10-11 age division; and Katie Zarybnicky of Odell, winner, and Emma Good of Johnstown, runner-up in the 12-13 age division.
The first-place winners each received a $3,500 contribution to a NEST Direct College Savings Plan, while the three runners-up each received a $1,000 contribution to the savings plan.
The contest, announced by the State Treasurer's Office in early June, ran through Aug. 6, 2012.
"NEST is a tax-advantage 529 college savings plan, providing four separate plans to help make saving for college simple and affordable," Stenberg said.
The four plans are: 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. First National Bank is program manager.
"We congratulate our scholarship winners on their outstanding essays," Stenberg said. "First National Bank is a long-time supporter of the agricultural community in Nebraska. These young people represent the best Nebraska has to offer—our young people who work hard, strive to do well in school and their activities and who value their families and their agricultural roots."
Stenberg said that, at present, more than 53,000 families in Nebraska and more than 19,000 nationwide are saving for their children's higher education through NEST.For more information, go online to www.NEST529.com or www.treasurer.org.