Press Releases

Two student essay contest winners recently accepted $500 prizes on behalf of their schools and will receive $500 individually for being regional age-group winners in the State Treasurer’s Office “When I Grow Up” contest.

Maxwell Hill Elementary first grade student Jennaleah Toney of Beckley and Victory Baptist Academy third grade student Raegan Wood of Shady Spring accepted the checks on behalf of their schools during a ceremony at the Raleigh County Public Library. 

“We’re absolutely thrilled to present these awards to the schools, in acknowledgment of the good work they’re doing,” State Treasurer John Perdue said. “The evidence is in these essay awards. The kids themselves will also be rewarded.”  

In addition to the $500 school prizes, each contest winner will receive $500 invested into a SMART529 college savings plan and be recognized at a statewide awards ceremony in Charleston this fall. At that time, each student will be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win the grand prize, a total of $5,000 invested into a SMART529 account.

After the children and their schools were recognized at Monday’s event, SMART529 representatives were on hand to provide information about all of SMART529’s program offerings.

Representatives may open accounts for children of any age. Parents or guardians must bring the child’s Social Security number to open an account. Those who open an account before the baby’s first birthday will qualify for a “Bright Babies” grant and receive $100 toward college savings.

SMART529 is West Virginia’s college savings program issued by the West Virginia College Prepaid Tuition and Savings Program Board of Trustees and is administered by Hartford Life. For more information, log onto or

The Treasury does not collect state taxes. Visit the The West Virginia State Tax Department for assistance.

West Virginia State Treasurer's Office
1900 Kanawha Boulevard
Capitol Complex Building #1, Room E-145
Charleston, West Virginia 25305
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