2022 RFN Scholarship Winner

Being financially responsible is extremely important to me. From a young age, I can remember my mom telling me how important it would be to save my money for my future. Back then, I didn’t really understand why, but I knew that if she was telling me to do it, it must be for a good reason. Now that I’m 18 and embarking on the next chapter of my life, it all makes sense. Financial responsibility is a critically important skill that everyone should possess to help save and spend money wisely. To me, being financially responsible includes financial stability for the here-and-now and also for my future.

I had my first job last summer as a camp counselor for a children’s sports camp. I absolutely loved the job, but I also loved the freedom that those paychecks gave me. When that job ended, I decided to take on a part-time job during my senior year of high school as a Shift Manager at an ice cream shop. I work 15 hours a week and I truly love it. I made a commitment to myself to save approximately 80% of what I made and allowed myself to splurge on a few things with the rest, along with paying my cell phone bill and other daily expenses. Now that college is right around the corner, that 80% that I saved will be vitally important and will allow me to help my parents offset the cost of college. This coming summer, I will be working both of those jobs so that I can make even more money for college. I like the challenge of making and saving as much as I possibly can. I have quickly come to learn that being financially responsible is knowing the difference between “wants” and “needs”. I try to make smart purchases now, and I am much more aware of the “things” I have.

As a little girl, I liked to save my money for a big item and then treat myself to it once I had all of the money saved. I felt so accomplished and proud when I bought a pair of Converse All-Stars all by myself. I felt like I was really grown up. I think doing that taught me a valuable lesson about the importance of saving, even if it was just for a pair of shoes at the time.

I am beginning to research Roth IRA’s and how a minimal starting contribution with small monthly deposits can really set my future up for success when I retire. While that feels far away, I believe it is important to take the necessary steps now to ensure I can be comfortable later in life.

Upon graduation, I will be attending Syracuse University and studying Recording and Entertainment Industries. I have begun the process of creating a budget that I can follow as a college student. I have also applied for work study and I would love to continue working during college, as well as when I am home on breaks or during the summers.

The cost of college and all that it entails is very expensive. I have been working hard to apply for every scholarship I am eligible for, as well as saving every penny that I can. I have maintained exceptional grades and been a very active member of the Music in Motion show choir and Solon High School Drama Club, performing in dozens of shows throughout the years. I believe I am a great candidate for many scholarships, and I appreciate your consideration!

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