SMART529 - Sponsors 6th Annual "When I Grow Up" Essay Contest

  • Posted on: 6 February 2013
  • By: Kathryn Flanagan


Treasurer's Office Initiative to Award $20,000 In Savings Accounts

Essay Contest For Teachers Enters Third Year, While the Students Annual Essay Contest Reaches it's Sixth.

January 16th, 2013, Charleston, WV – The Media Center had the honor again this year, to be apart of the Sixth-Annual "When I Grow Up" (WIGU) Essay Contest Kick-Off. The contest is sponsored by SMART529, and the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office. WV State Treasurer - John Perdue, announced the contest Thursday January 16, 2013, at Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School in Charleston, WV. Expressing ones thought in writing of, "When I Grow Up, I Want to be..."; with a pencil in hand and piece of paper on the desk, this essay is giving 15 West Virginia Elementary School Students (ages five through ten years old) a chance to win up to $5,000 towards their college savings.

Also this year, teachers have an opportunity to compete in the third-annual essay contest for a $2,500 cash prize. Teachers of grades K through 5 are encouraged to write a short essay about how they will use the SMART529 lesson plans to help inspire their students to go on to college or pursue other higher education opportunities.

The "When I Grow Up" contest allows students, with the help of their parent or guardian, to submit an essay that answers what they want to be when they grow up and why, in 100 words or less. Entries will be judged on originality, creativity, and the importance of post-secondary education. Last year’s contest garnered 3,250 student entries, the largest number of entries in the history of the contest! A second-grade student from Maxwell Hills Elementary School in Raleigh County, Ahmed Amir, was awarded the grand prize winner for the 2012 Essay Contest. He was rewarded by receiving a $5,000 SMART529 College Savings Plan. .

Three age group winners (K-1, 2-3, 4-5) will be judged in each of the five regions, making for a total of 15 winners. The 15 winners will be awarded a $500 college savings account and will be notified in April, 2013 about a news conference to announce the grand prize winner, who will win a $5,000 SMART529 scholarship. Each regional winner’s school will receive a $500 cash award.

Entry forms for both the student and teacher’s contests are available at In addition, forms will be available at elementary schools throughout the state within the next few weeks.

SMART529 is a qualified tuition program issued by the West Virginia Prepaid College Tuition and Savings Program Board of Trustees and administered by Hartford Life.