State Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr. and the TNStars College Savings 529 Program made the scholarship giveaway available as part of the “TNStars Turns 10” celebration. The contest was open throughout August to all Tennessee residents, age 21 and older, to enter online on behalf of a child aged 10 or under. These ten winners were randomly chosen from each of the state’s Grand Divisions:
- Jackson Butterfield, 8, of Collierville, excels in math and has a new interest in science. He loves sports and plays tight end on his tackle football team and is looking forward to playing another year of basketball this winter. Jackson wants to be a professional basketball player like Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies, but with his interest in numbers and science he could gravitate toward that field.
- David Weston Smith, 1, of Holladay, enjoys being outdoors and working on his little toy excavator or playing in the dirt. He loves to sing into the microphone while his sister Maggie plays the piano. On weekends you can find him on a beach on the Tennessee River digging in the sand (with a real shovel).
- Jaidon Martin, 10, of Jackson, enjoys singing, listening to music, Taekwondo, Karate, and taking trips with family. Jaidon wants to be a lawyer or a music producer.
- Harper Beard, 10, of Hendersonville, is a leader in her classroom, and loves to travel and dance. She desires to be a marine biologist when she becomes an adult.
- Caroline Dodd, 3, of Franklin, is full of energy and loves basically everything, especially her two older brothers; making art; swimming; and Bible class. She wants to be a mommy, a doctor, and a dentist when she grows up.
- Luke Groves, 4, of Hendersonville, is a sweet and fun-loving kid with a large imagination who enjoys reading books and is a self-proclaimed “master builder,” who loves building and playing with Legos. He wants to be a doctor when he grows up.
- Camden Sureda, 4, of White House, is very active, enjoys playing with cars and trucks, and loves Paw Patrol. He is following in his three older brothers' footsteps and has just started playing baseball. He also has an older sister. He wants to drive diggers and bulldozers and be a "worker” when he grows up.
- Delanie Clayton, 3, of Dunlap, has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Although her life has come with several hardships, she is the happiest little girl with the biggest personality. Delanie enjoys exploring in her wheelchair, music, and any toy she can tinker with. Her dad said, “we will not be surprised if Delanie grows up to be a musician, educator, or an advocate for disabilities. At 3 years old, her opportunities are endless.”
- Lily Deter, 5, of Rockford, is a kind, bright, and creative girl who loves playing with her two siblings. As the middle child, Lily has the opportunity to lead others and learn how to follow. She enjoys swimming, playing soccer, learning to ride her bike, and pretending with her stuffed animals. Although she is not sure of her future career path, she often plays doctor and calls herself, "Dr. Lily."
- William Lawson, 3, of Knoxville, loves everything Mickey Mouse! He is a very kind and playful toddler with a lot of energy. He loves to read books and sing songs. While he hasn't decided what he wants to be when he grows up, Will loves taking things apart and putting them back together, so his dad is guessing he’ll be an engineer.
The $1,000 prize can be used by each winner to cover future post-secondary education expenses ranging from tuition and housing to books, computers, and more. Research shows that students with dedicated savings for college are about seven times more likely to attend college than children with no dedicated account.
"I want to congratulate our 10 winners across the state and encourage each of them to use these scholarship funds to pursue their career aspirations,” Treasurer Lillard said. “The cost of post-secondary education continues to be substantial. It's important to start saving early so that compounding interest works for them rather than against them with student loans, and I hope this scholarship will help each of them get started down that path.”
The TNStars College Savings 529 Program was launched in September 2012 to encourage Tennessee families to save and invest for the future cost of higher education in a tax-advantaged way. Families can open an account with as little as $25 to start.
Over the past 10 years, TNStars has helped Tennessee families save more than $250 million for college in over 23,000 accounts. To learn more about TNStars or to open an account, visit TNStars.com.