LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Astoria Federal Savings held its 5th annual essay contest for children, ages 5-12, asking the students to complete the statement: "If I save a lot today, in the future I could..." The essay contest was part of Astoria Federal Savings' fun and educational Teach Children to Save Celebrations in April, in every neighborhood branch throughout Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester.
Of the more than 1,000 entries received, Astoria Federal Savings judges selected seven top winners and one local winner from each branch location. The grand prize winner was 12-year-old Meagan Ochtera of East Rockaway, who received a new personal computer. Adding to the excitement, the top winner's school was also presented with a brand new computer.
In Meagan's essay, the Rhame Avenue School student writes that with her savings she would get a college education to become a teacher and open a school for children in Zimbabwe, where "all the kids would learn about the arts by playing instruments and putting on plays while they were learning."
Three first-place winners were chosen, and each received a $500 Savings Bond. They are:
- 7-year-old Lauren Della of Astoria, Queens
- 9-year-old Yasmin Madmoune of Queens Village, Queens
- 12-year-old Rachel Mirzokandov of Forest Hills, Queens
Three second-place winners were chosen, and each received a $250 Savings Bond. They are:
- 7-year-old Taspia Rahman of Brooklyn
- 10-year-old Cami Berger of East Rockaway, Nassau
- 11-year-old Alex Singer of Roslyn Heights, Nassau
Every child who was selected as a local winner from their community won a $50 U.S. Savings Bond, a Teach Children to Save Celebration Award Certificate and an Education First teddy bear and medal. All of the winners were invited to their local Astoria Federal Savings branches to receive their awards.
Most of the young writers said they wished to make the world a better place. They would use their saved money for college and to help their families financially, save the environment, stamp out hunger and disease, and help others less fortunate. In general, they all recognized that the first step to becoming successful is to work hard in school and get a good education.
"We had great participation this year, and the essay contest tied in nicely with our newly developed School Outreach Program. Our managers visited local elementary schools to teach children about making smart financial choices, even at a young age," said Astoria Federal Savings Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing Brian Edwards. "This contest is a great way to get children to think about their goals for the future and what it will take to get there."
Astoria Federal Savings' Education First initiatives include the Student Savers and Bank-at-School programs, as well as the Kids Tools for School Collection Drive to help children be prepared on the first day of school by providing them with new school supplies, and The First Home Club™ to promote homeownership. These programs and others were all designed to encourage lifelong learning. For additional information about Astoria Federal Savings' Education First financial literacy programs, please call 1-800-ASTORIA.
Astoria Financial Corporation (NYSE: AF), with assets of $19.7 billion, is the holding company for Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association. Established in 1888, Astoria Federal, with deposits in New York totaling $12.2 billion, is the largest thrift depository in New York and embraces its philosophy of "Putting people first" by providing the customers and local communities it serves with quality financial products and services through 85 convenient banking office locations and multiple delivery channels, including its enhanced website, www.astoriafederal.com. Astoria Federal commands the fourth largest deposit market share in the attractive Long Island market, which includes Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk counties with a population exceeding that of 38 individual states. Astoria Federal originates mortgage loans through its banking and loan production offices in New York, an extensive broker network covering sixteen states, primarily along the East Coast, and the District of Columbia, and through correspondent relationships covering seventeen states and the District of Columbia.
SOURCE Astoria Federal Savings