Author: Rachel Biar, Assistant State Treasurer

The ‘Why I Want to Go to College’ Writing Sweepstakes is a time-honored tradition for the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office and the NEST 529 College Savings Plan. An annual opportunity for seventh and eighth graders across the country, the Sweepstakes encourages students to express their dreams for the future, and provides winners with a college savings boost to boot.

Once again, we were delighted to award another group of bright and driven young students with NEST 529 account contributions ranging in value from $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place. Three winners were chosen from each of Nebraska’s three U.S. congressional districts, as well as three winners from outside the state.

Students were asked to reflect in their written entries about the value of higher education and what they hope to achieve with their future degree. In today’s blog, we’re highlighting excerpts from a few of the winning entries. Congratulations to all who participated on their excellent work!

Andrew W. - Springfield, NE

“Being able to care for others is something I want to do. Many careers I’ve looked into are careers I’m interested in because I can help others. But I can’t accomplish and fulfill my dream and desires unless I get into college. I want to spread some light, hope and happiness.

Overall, I want to be a difference in this world and I want to be able to give back to everyone who has been here with me. To make my parents happy and proud because I was able to accomplish so much is the thing I want the most… College would just be the beginning for living out my dream.”

Chongming L. – Aurora, OH

“I value education as a necessary phase in your childhood. In this modern day and age, if you are an adult without an education working for a living, your life will be harder than someone in the same situation with an education… Education is an important part of anyone’s life and should be valued and become a standard for everyone.”

Sophia T. – Elkhorn, NE

“I would like to go to college because it would give me an opportunity to sharpen my abilities and provide for my goals in the future. I would like to get a degree in business in order to own a hairstyling boutique. It would allow for me to create a successful business and make my own name in the industry.”

Danica J. – Wisner, NE

“My future goal is to be successful in life in whatever I do, I don’t want people saying it’s too hard, or you can’t do that because I can… When I help people, it makes me feel good, and that’s what I want for other people. That’s why I want to go to college, so I can find my passion and learn more about helping.”

Jackson B. – Hampton, NE

“Personally, college is very important to not only the job that you get but the life you will have outside of your job… Even though I’m just in 8th grade dreaming and making goals for the future are important, so it’s a good idea to start now.

My dreams and goals are just as important to my future as the degree I get in college. One of my dreams is to be an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur is one of my dreams because starting a business could earn me a lot of money, but it could also be a risk. Risks are an important part of goals and dreams as well. You don’t want your dreams to be too small and your goals to be easy because you’re not going to get anywhere.”

Avery N. – Omaha, NE

“One of the most popular reasons to go to college is to be in a sorority or a fraternity… in a sisterhood, not only can I create everlasting bonds, but I get to do philanthropy work and social events for fundraising. Furthermore, volunteering is an astounding way to get out and help the community, especially on a college campus. I am a firm believer that giving is more than receiving, and through a sorority, I can fulfill that statement.”

Alison T. – Lincoln, NE

“Basically, the point of college is to figure out who you are and what you want to do with your life. Which we all need, even yours truly. What I’ll do after college is a mystery, so I’ll just need to explore classes there to see what jobs or skills really fit me.

College is a place of discovery. It pushes you into the real world, which can be dramatic. In college you build friendships and bonds with others that you can learn from… which can really impact you positively in the future.”

Harmon J. – Sutherland, NE

“One of my dreams for college is to hear the roar of the crowd… I dream of playing a Husker athletic game, wearing my scarlet and cream, with lots of fans cheering for me and my team. That is my dream, and if I can get good enough, I dream of going professional!

However, I know that very few athletes are chosen to go professional. That is another reason why I want to go to college. I know that if I don’t go pro, then I will need a backup career… I have been doing a lot of research on colleges for an assignment recently, and I am almost definitely going to go into Sports Communications or Culinary Arts because I love broadcasting and I love food!”

These thoughtful messages from our winners are very inspiring. Our youth of today have many dreams and hopes for the future. Here at NEST 529, we work daily to provide an easy and simple 529 savings plan to assist students and families in achieving their goals. Let us know how we can help you get started on your savings path as your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews share their stories about why they want to go to college.