German American 2022 Financial Literacy Bee Winning Essays

During April’s Financial Literacy Month, German American Bank partnered with leading education technology company EVERFI to host the third annual Financial Literacy Bee. This digital learning challenge enabled high school students to learn about important financial literacy concepts ranging from budgeting and saving to employment, income, investing, and insurance.

Students ages 13-19 were able to compete to win a $500 gift card from EVERFI in addition to one of four regional $500 gift card prizes awarded by German American Bank. Participants completed a capstone entry in which they shared a short, medium, or long-term savings goal and outlined a plan for how to get there using what they learned.

The German American winners are Kolten Lock, a Madison Junior High School student from Madison, IN, Stephen P. Leonard, Jr., a homeschooled student from Fisherville, KY, Johna King, a New Washington High School student from Marysville, IN, Charles Cline, a West Hardin Middle School student from Elizabethtown, KY, and Jonathan Wilson, a Madison Junior High School Student from Madison, IN. Read their stand-out entries below.


Kolten Lock – Madison, IN

Madison Junior High School

EVERFI does a good job of teaching people how to plan for short, mid, and long-term goals. In the lessons, you will learn how to manage your money properly, put money into saving accounts for the future, learn to identify wants and needs, and more. For me, I find these very important for planning out and following through with the goals I have for the future. For short-term goals, I want to graduate from middle school, get a job, and learn how to drive. For mid-term goals, I want to graduate from high school, start planning for college, and begin saving money for my own house. Lastly, the long-term goals I have in mind are graduating from college with a Ph.D., starting my own family, and moving into my own house. This is all-important because these events will map out the rest of my life. If I am able to get a good job, owning my own house and starting a family will feel easier and more comfortable.


Stephen P. Leonard, Jr. – Fisherville, KY


The first milestone is completing my college degree in finance. I have always had a love for anything financial. At an early age, my dad let me make investments with my money in his stock account and this piqued my interest in the field. I am also on the finance committee at a million-dollar flight club and participate in the investing club. While getting a college degree is not required to become a multimillionaire it can help.

The second is getting a job in the finance field. While there I plan to learn as much as I can about the trade. With this knowledge and money, I plan to venture out on my own.

The third and final is investing wisely early in my career. I have already started investing in retirement and short-term stocks and cryptocurrencies. My plan is to invest as much as I feel comfortable with now to have a huge compounding interest and dividends. I also plan to venture off on my own after I have enough saved to start either rental or a money managing company.


Johna King - Marysville, IN

New Washington High School

Step 1: Find a job to work at for the summer and after my sports are over to start getting money.

Step 2: Open a savings account at a good bank so I have a safe place to put my money.

Step 3: Put away at least $50-100 a month so that way I have a pretty good start to saving money.

One specific long term goal, is to help save enough money for most of my college tuition because Medical School is really expensive and I don't want to be in a lot of debt when I graduate college .

The greatest takeaway is that I now have more knowledge about saving money and I can be smarter for the future and make better choices so I don't end up in debt, or any financial struggles. 


Charles Cline – Elizabethtown, KY

West Hardin Middle School

Three steps I can take to save for my goal are the 50/30/20 rule, the Do It Yourself Buckets, and Mutual Funds. The way the 50/30/20 rule works is 50% percent of your money for needs, 30% for your wants, and 20% for savings. They Do It Yourself buckets (or DIY Buckets) are when you fill envelopes or mason jars or some kind of container with money and label them. If it’s in savings you can’t spend it unless it’s for your goal and if it’s in spending you can spend it. Lastly, mutual funds are investments in a combination of real estate, stocks, and bonds which means you gain more money than you would if it was just stocks and it’s less risky. The more money you place in there, the more interest you get from your mutual funds. I will change some of these goals to fit my habits such as breaking the method down to 50/50 (one 50 being saving and the other being spending on needs and wants).

A specific medium goal of mine is to pay for my very first car. I want to pay for my first car because I wouldn’t have to ask for rides to go places and I could go to places that are too far to ride a bike to. This goal is considered mid-term to me because I turn 16 in 2 years so I need to save lots of money quickly, as new cars can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.

The greatest takeaway from this course, is probably helping me understand how easy it is for me to save money, and use it for useful things. Before I was stressed about the financial world, and how everything took place, and how to even use it. But now this course was kind of an eye opening for me, and has showed me that it actually isn't all too hard, and once you get started it will get easier. But this whole course kind of helped me to understand it better, and I think it will, and has helped a lot of other students. I love how it talks about it from different situations, and from the kids point of view. That is probably the biggest takeaway from this course in my opinion.


Jonathan Wilson – Madison, IN

Madison Junior High School

The first thing I could do is instead of working a bunch I could try as hard as I could in school and maybe get a scholarship. I could also get a job when I’m sixteen but that will take too long so this summer I will work for my neighbor who owns multiple fields and I can help him with farm work and mowing and also I can start at a younger age and won’t have to worry about gas because my neighbor lives so close that I wouldn’t have to drive. Another way I could get money is from signing up for different organizations and maybe win money. The final way I could get money is by getting 500 dollars from German American Bank.

A long term goal I have is to save up enough money to go to college at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Which right now would cost approximately 11,500 dollars and so far I am not making any money but I have a few plans to hopefully go to college.

From the EVERFI I learned quite a bit. First I learned how to make a long term, short term, and medium term goal. I also learned how to save money better. EVERFI also taught me how to open a savings account and the items I should bring to the bank and with the 500 dollars from German American Bank I can learn even more about how to use money. I also learned different ways to save money. I also think that you should make goals for things you want and buy things you need like gas. Finally, I learned that if I submit this essay to the German American Bank and win 500 dollars I can excel in school and buy things I will need for school and save some money for college. We will just have to wait and see if I win. From the EVERFI I learned quite a bit. First I learned how to make a long term, short term, and medium term goal. I also learned how to save money better. EVERFI also taught me how to open a savings account and the items I should bring to the bank and with the $500 from the bank.

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