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Local News

DuPage County students can win Money Smart Week essay scholarships

Village boards throughout DuPage County are struggling with cutting expenses while trying to protect the level of services provided to communities. Can a middle schooler provide a great idea for an investment that will pay off in their community?

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is hoping lots of kids in fifth through eighth grades will show they are thinking about their community's financial health, as well as their own, by entering the 2013 Money Smart Kid Essay Contest, which will award one Chicago-area student a $5,000 scholarship and two runners-up $2,500 scholarships. DuPage County students will automatically become eligible for the DuPage County Money Smart Kid contest, which will award an additional $2,500 scholarship and other cash prizes.

This year’s essay topic is: “What is the difference between an investment and an expense? What would be a good investment in your community and why? Please discuss who would benefit from this investment.”

The essay should be no more than 300 words and postmarked by the deadline of Thursday, March 21. For more information and to download the DuPageCounty application, visit and go to Money Smart Kids. Winners will be announced in April.

Essay contest entrants must:

• Be a student in fifth through eighth grades;

• Have knowledge of money management skills (decision-making related to spending and saving, investing, use of credit, etc.) appropriate for their age and grade level;

• Be able to “think on their feet” — responding to questions from business leaders and media;

• Be articulate – able to speak in front of large groups and camers, and respond well to questions; and

• Live in the Chicago area.

The Money Smart Week DuPage Essay Contest is one of the many activities held leading up to and as part of Money Smart Week, April 20 to 27. During this time, free classes and events are offered that help consumers learn to manage their personal finances.

The week is coordinated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, which serves most of Illinois, and hundreds of partner organizations dedicated to financial literacy. It is designed to educate consumers about money management and generate awareness of financial education available on a range of topics such as saving, investing and using credit wisely. For more information about events slated for Money Smart Week, visit

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