Fifth Annual Citi/Scholastic National Essay Contest Recognizes High School Students for Their Essays on Financial Management NEW YORK, Aug. 14 /EMWNews/ -- Today, Citi awards $39,500 in college scholarships to seventeen high school students for their winning entries in the Fifth Annual Citi/Scholastic National Essay Contest. A collaborative effort between Citi's Credit-ED(R) Program (http://www.Students.UseCreditWisely.com) and Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education and media company, the annual essay contest attracted entries from high school students nationwide who wrote about a situation in which they had to use financial management to achieve a significant goal. The annual essay contest is just one component of Citi's Credit-ED Program and its ongoing effort to educate young adults on the importance of responsible money management. The initiative also includes lessons on money-management and writing skills, and provides free in-class materials to English teachers, guidance counselors and business/economics teachers to help high-school students prepare for college. "The essays we received from this year's contestants demonstrate the situations high school students face everyday where fiscal responsibility is required," said Anthony Merola, senior vice president, Citi Cards. "These situations become greater once they enter college, when many will have to make financial decisions on their own. At Citi, we're committed to financial education and providing young adults with the knowledge and skills early on to help them build a healthy financial future in college and into adulthood." For this year's contest, high school juniors and seniors were asked to write a 500-word essay in response to the two-fold question:
-- "Tell us about a situation in which you had to use financial management to achieve a significant goal." -- "What skills did you learn from that experience that you could use in the future?" Students wrote about a variety of situations in which they demonstrated financial management skills and learned valuable lessons. One of two Grand Prize winners, Jeffrey Hoernemann of Andover High School, Minnesota, wrote, "Fiscal responsibility at times means less immediate gratification, but the pride I feel in reaching a financial goal for a major purchase far outweighs the small sacrifices needed to attain it." Similarly, through her experience fundraising for a service trip to the hurricane-stricken town of Trujillo, Honduras, the other Grand Prize winner, Mary Buechler of Bishop Lynch High School, Texas, wrote, "social financial backing is the foundation of every major endeavor." Essay entries were judged on creativity, clear content, logical thought process and proper use of language. Two Grand Prize winners each received a $15,000 scholarship toward college tuition; five second-place winners each received a $1,500 scholarship; and ten third-place winners each received a $200 scholarship. Teachers of the winners were also awarded prizes totaling $10,500 to use towards professional development and classroom materials. "As a company dedicated to promoting learning, Scholastic is delighted to have collaborated with Citi over the past five years to help prepare students for college through both essay writing and financial literacy," said Ann Amstutz Hayes, vice president, Scholastic InSchool.
This year's winners are: Grand Prize: -- Mary Buechler, Dallas, TX, Bishop Lynch High School -- Jeffrey Hoernemann, Andover, MN, Andover High School Second-place: -- Carissa Altizer, Manns Choice, PA, Chestnut Ridge High -- Chad Hansen, Hopewell Junction, NY, John Jay High School -- John Goodwin, Vienna, VA, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology -- Carly Gennaro, Levittown, NY, Island Trees High School -- Nabil Freij, Cypress, CA, John F. Kennedy High School Third-place: -- Dmitry Matev, Jacksonville, FL, Sandalwood High School -- Dana Ricci, Bayville, NJ, Central Regional High School -- Benjamin Sojka, Logan, IA, Logan-Magnolia Junior/Senior High School -- Christina Soto, La Vista, NE, Papillion La Vista High School -- Kylie Haag, Olpe, KS, Olpe High School -- Allison Kota, Gowanda, NY, Gowanda High School -- Christopher Counts, Arvada, CO, Arvada West High School -- Lucas Reilly, Sayre, PA, Sayre Area Junior/Senior High School -- Gracie Rae Smith-Gallegos, Pico Rivera, CA, Cornelia Connelly High School -- Kelsey Larson, St. Anthony, MN, St. Anthony Village High School Since its inception in 2000, Citi's Credit-ED Program, an ongoing and comprehensive credit education initiative for students, has distributed more than 5 million credit education materials for free to students, administrators and parents. Credit-ED is part of Use Credit Wisely, Citi's ongoing comprehensive credit education program that provides free financial tools to help people of all ages, backgrounds and economic levels develop healthy credit habits. In addition to Credit-ED, Use Credit Wisely also includes Hablando de Credito, Citi's credit education program for the Hispanic community. In 2004, Citi and the Citi Foundation announced a 10-year, $200 million global financial education commitment, the formation of a new Office of Financial Education and a global initiative designed to encourage all of its employees around the world to devote time to support financial education and other charitable causes. Under the initiative, employees may take a day off from work to volunteer for non-profit organizations in their communities.
About Citi Citi (NYSE: C), the leading global financial services company, has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Citi's major brand names include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney, Banamex, and Nikko. Additional information may be found at http://www.citigroup.com or http://www.citi.com. Based on the belief that knowledge is your greatest asset, the Citi Financial Education Program is a global, company-wide effort to identify, support and implement initiatives that help give individuals, families and communities the tools needed to make sound financial decisions. Citi's ten-year, $200 million global commitment is focused in three areas: Personal, Small Business and Institutional Financial Education. Additional information about Citi Financial Education Program, including Citi Foundation guidelines, links and resources and the Citi Financial Education Program Curriculum and Facilitator's Guide may be found at http://financialeducation.citigroup.com. About Scholastic Scholastic Corporation (Nasdaq: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books and a leader in educational technology. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children's books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs, school- based book fairs, and school-based and direct-to-home continuity programs; retail stores, schools, libraries, and television networks; and the Company's Internet Site, http://www.scholastic.com.
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