3 Fremont seniors earn $$ for future education
FREMONT, Mich. (3/14/2022) Gerber Federal Credit Union awarded a total of $2,750 as a result of its Annual Essay Scholarship program. Entrants were asked to explain “What financial goals do you think are attainable for today’s youth and how would you advise them to reach those goals?” in 300-500 words. Entries were accepted from Gerber Federal Credit Union members currently attending their senior year of high school and planning to attend an accredited technical school, community college, trade school, four-year accredited college or university, or an apprentice program.
Jessie Petry from Fremont, MI is the First Place winner. She was awarded $1,750 and publication of her essay at www.gerberfcu.com. Hanna Beecham from Fremont, MI is the Second Place winner and was awarded $750. Zoe Buckley from Fremont, MI is the Third Place Winner and was awarded $250.
Essays were submitted by email and mail. Our panel of judges included 4 educators from various school districts and a member of management at a local hospital. Judges evaluated the essays on Topical Relevance and Quality of Writing after all identifying information was removed.
Ms. Petry’s essay entitled “A Financial Foundation”
Stress can surely add up as a high school senior when you are just months away from being pushed out of the nest and into the real world. Choosing how to balance your time making money, where to spend it, and still being able to have fun in your last moments as a child can seem overwhelming. There are so many things you still want to do, but so little time. On top of that, it seems as if the massive weight of student loan debt will come crashing down on life at any second. Many high school students don’t know where to start or how to build a solid financial foundation. However, with the right tools and knowledge, today’s youth can thrive in the world without being overcome by the stress of financial security.
Before setting financial goals, I would advise the youth of America to start learning about finances instead of just “winging it”. In my Personal Finance class, I have seen the value of learning how to budget and distribute your money. Learning how to budget correctly helps reduce mindless spending and makes bigger goals easier to achieve. It is helpful to list your values and adjust spending habits to what is important. Finding out what is important to you and learning the basics of how to wisely budget your finances is the most important step for young adults to take in becoming successful in accomplishing their financial goals.
After learning how to properly budget, spend, and save, you can start setting your financial goals. It is better to have a solid foundation for your goals than to try to accomplish them blindly. One goal that I think is achievable for young adults is saving up enough money to buy a reliable car. It is necessary for life outside of high school and is critical in getting a job. From fast food restaurants to dairy farms, there are many opportunities for teenagers to start earning an income. Even if activities outside of school are important to them, working two days a week and putting at least 20% of their income into savings is a good start and gets you closer to your goals. If you already have a vehicle, you can start putting a portion of your income into either a savings account for furthering your education or an emergency fund. When you get into the habit of “paying yourself first” and putting your money into savings before spending any of it, you are setting yourself up for success in the future.
The youth of America need to focus on learning how to budget correctly and manage their finances before making any major financial decisions. Once they have the knowledge and tools they need to succeed, they should focus on saving their money and putting it towards goals that will have a longer-lasting impact on their life. To achieve their goals, the youth have to start putting their money into savings first instead of mindlessly spending.