Sofia Miceli, an eighth grader at St. Vincent Ferrer School in River Forest,  was named the winner of the 2018 Money Smart Essay Contest sponsored by COUNTRY Financial today at the Money Smart Week kickoff breakfast at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Sofia will receive a $3,000 scholarship from COUNTRY Financial.

Junior high school students (5th – 8th grades) from the Chicagoland area submitted essays for the annual contest.  Students were also recommended by a teacher or guardian for demonstrating good money management.

Each entrant was charged with writing about the following topic:

What are the potential devastating effects of a natural disaster (fire, flood, hurricane, etc.) on a family’s financial situation, including tips and resources to help prepare for potential future unexpected crises?

In her essay, Sofia said: “It’s very important to be prepared financially for the worst. Some of the best tips and tricks to have your finances together for hurricane season are simply part of planning ahead.”

She goes on to encourage individuals to insure their property and to budget for unexpected expenses in a natural disaster, such as medical bills and evacuation costs.

Runners-up are Alanah McClanahan of Chicago and Alex Benitez of River Forest. Each will receive a $1,000 scholarship from COUNTRY Financial.

“I’d like to congratulate Sofia and the other finalists,” said Mike Fisher, a Vice President at COUNTRY Financial. “Sofia provided great tips for how to prepare for the unexpected. We’re impressed with the entries we received and the great insight on how a natural disaster such as a hurricane or tornado can affect a person’s finances.”

COUNTRY Financial has been involved with the Money Smart Kid Essay Contest since 2012.

About the contest

COUNTRY Financial sponsors the annual essay contest as part of Money Smart Weeka national public awareness campaign to help individuals and families better manage their personal finances.

Join the discussion on social media!