Georgetown teen wins $5,000 scholarship

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Donavan Shackleford with state Treasurer Allison Ball

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) –  A Georgetown native has earned a $5,000 scholarship by combining his financial literacy with writing skills.

State Treasurer Allison Ball and KY Saves 529 announced Donavan Shackleford as the winner of the 2020 Treasurer’s Summer Challenge.

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The financial literacy challenge, lasting through the month of July, consisted of 5 short online lessons and one capstone essay submission. Kentucky students 13-17 years old were encouraged to participate.

Kentucky had more than 1,500 students participate. The winner and both runners-up are from Kentucky.

“I am so proud of our Kentucky students who blew the challenge out of the water and took the initiative to expand their knowledge. I am committed to expanding financial literacy in the Commonwealth and equipping our youth with the tools for financially empowered futures,” Ball said. “I am thrilled to see all three winning positions go to well-deserving students in Kentucky.”

Ball is a champion for expanding financial literacy in the state. As many students undertake a virtual school year, equipping Kentucky students and educators with the resources to teach financial education is critical.

Ball and the Kentucky Financial Empowerment Commission (KFEC) are working with education leaders across the state to roll out the new high school financial literacy requirement and provide educators with online resources to aid in financial education.

“What a great state-wide financial literacy program that over 1,500 young Kentuckians participated in this summer. The Financial Literacy Challenge was a successful partnership between Treasurer Ball’s office and KHEAA that produced a national essay winner from Kentucky,” KHEAA Executive Director Eugene P. Hutchins said.

The Treasurer’s Challenge was designed to engage students with fun, educational content that was self-paced and easily accessible from home. Topics included spending and saving, credit and debt, employment and income, investing, and insurance.

KY Saves 529 is the Commonwealth’s official education savings program. Administered by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA), KY Saves 529 offers investments options that held families meet future education costs, including K-12 tuition.

Account earnings are exempt from Kentucky taxes, and any withdrawal used for qualified education expenses are free from federal income taxes as well.

KHEAA is the state agency that administers the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES), need-based grants and other programs to help students pay their higher education expenses. It also disburses low-cost Advantage Education Loans for its sister agency, the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC).