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Iowa seventh grader Laura Stowater named 2014 Money Smart Kid

DES MOINES, IOWA (April 3, 2014) - Laura Stowater, a seventh grader at Algona Middle School, has won a statewide financial literacy essay contest and has been named Iowa's 2014 Money Smart Kid.

Stowater was recognized April 3 at a Money Smart Week kickoff event at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's West Des Moines office. At the event, Shawnna Stiver, communications coordinator at the Iowa Bankers Association, and Jaimie Miller, executive director of the Iowa Credit Union Foundation, presented Stowater with an award honoring this accomplishment. Stowater also received a $1,000 Certificate of Deposit, co-sponsored by the Iowa Bankers Association and Iowa Credit Union Foundation.

More than 250 students from across the state participated in the essay contest. To be eligible, students had to be in grades seventh through eleventh and submit a 300-word essay. The essay asked students to describe to a potential investor how investing in the student could produce a return. The top six essay finalists also participated in an interview with contest judges. From those finalists, Laura Stowater was selected to be the 2014 Money Smart Kid.

"I am happy to see the number of essays that we received from students across the state this year," said Matt Brown, chair for the Money Smart Youth Outreach Committee. "It is amazing to think that there are so many kids from around the state who are going to make smarter financial decisions in their future, because of what they learned in writing this essay. This contest creates teachable moments for all of us."

"Education is very important, but like everything, it comes at a price. How is a student to get college funds when the cost of college can be quite expensive? Seeking out an investor is a great place to start," wrote Stowater in her award-winning essay.

Stowater is the daughter of Todd and Liz Stowater. As Iowa's 2014 Money Smart Kid, Stowater will serve as a spokesperson promoting financial education during Money Smart Week, April 5-12, in communities across the state. The remaining five essay finalists were: Madelyn Deitchler (Treynor), Grace Jakes (Indianola), Jay Stowater (Algona), Kayleen Van Dyke (Pella) and Nicholas Wiemers (Pocahontas).

More information about Money Smart Week is available at

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For more information, contact:
Joanne Kuster, Money Smart Week Chairperson
Phone: 515-991-5632


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Photo (from left to right): Shawnna Stiver, communications coordinator, Iowa Bankers Association, 2014 Money Smart Kid Laura Stowater, Jaimie Miller, executive director, Iowa Credit Union Foundation.



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