‘Saving now will affect my future’: Pine View High student wins financial literacy essay contest

ST. GEORGE — Equipped with knowledge from his classes and online instruction, Dane Stocking of Pine View High School won a recent financial literacy contest organized by State Bank of Southern Utah.

Dane Stocking is cheered by his classmates as he stands to accept his prize for a financial literacy essay contest, St. George, Utah, May 11, 2021 | Photo by Ammon Teare, St. George News

After completing a financial education module through the bank’s website, Stocking wrote a short essay of about 250 words to enter a contest as part of National Financial Literacy Month in April. 

“It was about how saving now will affect my future,” he said. “I’m going on my mission soon, and I have a bit saved up so I can find different things like bonds to get a higher interest rate and such. It was very helpful.”

Stocking’s submission won out of a pool of students from more than 15 Southern Utah high schools. His prize, the Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality gaming system, was presented by Jared Caldwell and Brett Bulow of State Bank of Southern Utah.

Caldwell, a business development officer for the bank, said the essay submissions were reviewed by senior officers in the bank’s administration, including the chief of marketing, CEO and CFO. 

Students in Tracy Anderson’s financial literacy class at Pine View High School listen as the contest winner is announced, St. George, Utah, May 11, 2021 | Photo by Ammon Teare, St. George News

The financial literacy modules completed by the students were part of the Dollars and Sense program provided by State Bank of Southern Utah. Caldwell said the online courses are designed to be used by people of all ages with every level of education and are well suited to use in classrooms.

“One of the things we at State Bank understand is that if the students succeed, then our community is going to succeed,” he said. “Since we’re part of that community, we’re also going to succeed. So that’s why we’re trying to help students.”

Stocking was recognized in a short ceremony in his financial literacy class at Pine View High School. His teacher, Tracy Anderson, said her students had benefited from a subscription to online financial education paid for by State Bank of Southern Utah.

“Most of my students completed the modules, so when they went through the contest it was very easy for them,” Anderson said. “I just put a poster up in my classroom and encouraged them and said, ‘Hey, here’s your chance.’ The addition of the Oculus was a big incentive.”

L-R: State Bank of Southern Utah representative Brett Bulow, Pine View financial literacy teacher Tracy Anderson, essay contest winner Dane Stocking, and State Bank business development officer Jared Caldwell at Pine View High School, St. George, Utah, May 11, 2021 | Photo by Ammon Teare, St. George News

Coincidentally, Anderson is Bulow’s sister, and both are Pine View alumni. Bulow said that while he had no part in the contest judging, he was proud to see a Pine View student take home the prize.

Financial literacy is a required course at Pine View High School, usually completed by seniors like Stocking. Students learn about paying bills, how compound interest works, the advantages and disadvantages of credit cards, how to apply for jobs and how to save and set aside money for their futures.

State Bank of Southern Utah has partnered with local schools to promote its online education program for students, adults and small business owners. Most modules can be reviewed in as little as five to 10 minutes. More information and access to the program is available on the bank’s website.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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