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Scholarship opportunity for middle school students

The St. Louis Regional Financial Empowerment Coalition and Money Smart Committee, in partnership with United Way of Greater St. Louis, is hosting a Money Smart Kid Essay Contest for sixth through eighth grade students in the St. Louis area.

Three winners will be selected to receive scholarships, including a grand prize of $2,000. The second-place winner will receive $1,000, and a third-place finalist will receive $500. Additionally, applicants have the option to select a nonprofit organization or school to receive a $500 award if their essay is selected as one of the finalists.

Students must demonstrate their knowledge of basic economic concepts by submitting an essay in 500 words or less that explains the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and how communities can prepare for these types of hardships in the future.

Submissions are due Friday, April 16. The full application and contest guidelines are available at MoneySmartSTL.org. Applications and essays can be submitted via email to essay@moneysmartstlouis.org. The winners will be notified on May 10.

To enter the contest, students must be in grades six through eight in one of the following counties: Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe and St. Clair in Illinois; Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, St. Charles, St. Louis, Warren and Washington and the City of St. Louis in Missouri.

The contest is offered as part of St. Louis Metro Money Smart Month, a community education program sponsored by the St. Louis Regional Financial Empowerment Coalition in partnership with United Way of Greater St. Louis, area libraries, community organizations and financial institutions. Money Smart Month classes and events will be held throughout April to help individuals and families learn about money management, goal setting, saving for retirement or college, building credit, reducing debt and estate planning.

This year, all programs will be virtual, except for two free secure document shredding events, which will follow social distancing measures and safety precautions. For more information and a list of events, visit MoneySmartSTL.org.

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