What does Financial Independence mean to you, and how might you get there? - By Anthony Fernandez

Growing up, one thing my mother always tried to harp on was making money. She always used to explain that saving money is the smartest thing that someone can do at any age in life and it will ensure a safe and successful lifestyle. When I was younger, this did not mean much to me but as I grew up and became more aware of the money I was spending, this became more valuable to me and I have realized that it is some of the most useful information I've ever received. To me, financial independence means that I am able to live a comfortable and enjoyable life while not having to dedicate my life to working extensive hours to provide for my family. 

For the past couple of years I have worked for the city's pool. It was a nice way to make some money that I knew I was going to need if I wanted to buy things for myself and have good teenage years. Since I worked through the city, they would put a certain percentage of each paycheck into a retirement plan which they have set up for any city employee. I would also put some of the money I had made into a college savings account even though my parents had set one up for me as well. I feel confident that the knowledge I have gained about spending habits and healthy lifestyles will prepare me to live a safe and healthy lifestyle during my college and working years.

Working long and hard hours is not something that people want to do their entire life, nor do they want to live paycheck to paycheck and always have that stress financially that they won’t be able to provide for their family. Reaching financial independence is not an easy task but it is one that I would like to achieve. Since I am majoring in Finance, the knowledge that I will obtain in college will, without a doubt,  help me in my years to come. It will teach me to not only save my money effectively, but it will also teach me how to invest my money properly to ensure maximum income while also figuring out an effective way to spend my money. I have already begun planning for different ways to start saving and investing at a young age because through all of my business classes, the one thing they all have agreed upon is that it is never too early to start saving and/or investing. I plan to start saving and investing more effectively once I am out of college and I plan to put a portion of each of my paychecks into a retirement fund.

Upon graduation, I plan to attend Miami University to study finance at the Farmer’s School of Business. During any time I have off school, or possibly during school, I plan to work to make sure I keep a steady income of money to ensure my financial security and begin my path to financial independence. I understand the expenses college will bring and that is why I have worked to save my money and gain the knowledge on how to be responsible and safe with my money in the years to come to continue my path towards financial independence. I plan to maintain my academic excellence through college and then translate that hard work into a successful working life. I would like to thank Redwood Financial Network for taking the time to review my application and for giving me the privilege and opportunity to apply for this scholarship.

Who Wants to Win $1,000?

We are aN independent wealth management firm headquartered in Solon, Ohio.
We are delighted to announce that we will be accepting the 11th annual $1,000 scholarship application.

This non-need-based scholarship is open to any graduating high school senior who intends to attend college in the Fall of 2025.

Candidates will be judged on the academic and no more than 600-word essay. The question to be answered is

“What Does Financial Independence Mean To You and How Might You get there?”

All applications must be submitted to Sunwook Jin via email (SJIN@REDWOODFN.COM). Please send no later than 5:00 pm on April 30, 2025.

You MUST include the following in the email:

  1. Write “Redwood Scholarship Application for 2025” in the subject line.
  2. Provide your name, date of birth, address, email address, and the best phone # to reach you.
  3. Name of your High School.
  4. Proof of GPA: Either copy of your transcript or a letter from a school official on the school’s letterhead.
  5. Future Academic Plans: Accredited Post-Secondary Institution.
  6. How did you hear about the scholarship?
  7. No more than 600-word essay (attach a word document)

Your applications will be reviewed by the Redwood Financial Network Judges Panel members.

Past Winners:  2023 ,2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015

Have a Question?

Thank you!