OneUnited Bank, the largest Black-owned bank in the U.S., has awarded 10 children nationwide with $1,000 savings accounts for their winning submissions in the bank's 10th annual “I Got Bank!” youth essay and art contest.
The winners are Amina Anyabwele, 9, Miramar, Florida; William Cum Jr., 8, Pompano Beach, Florida; Morgan Hardwick, 12, Washington, D.C.; Loren Herrell-Guy, 11, Chicago; Olivia Hur, 12, La Crescenta-Montrose, California; Mariah Mack, 12, Grovetown, Georgia; Javonte Patton, 12, Palm Coast, Florida; Alizah Perez, 12, Pembroke Pines, Florida; Sophia Prakash, 9, Glendora, California; and Aarionna Totty, 9, Holly, Michigan.
Each winner expressed how they would use what they learned from their financial literacy reading in very creative ways, including starting a business, adding to their existing savings account and creating a vision board. The panel of judges included Teri Williams, the bank’s president and COO.
Williams, who wrote the book “I Got Bank! What My Grandad Taught Me About Money” after she discovered the lack of books geared toward educating urban youth about financial literacy, said, “This year we were excited to see the quality of the art submissions in addition to the essays. Congratulations to our winners and their families for appreciating the importance of financial literacy.”
The “I Got Bank!” youth essay and art contest is part of a larger OneUnited Bank initiative to make financial literacy a core value of the Black community. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank offered a free copy of “I Got Bank” on its website to assist parents who are homeschooling their children.
OneUnited Bank has also launched its Financial Education Center with online playlists on Financial Basics, Major Life Decisions, Starting a Career, Small Business and Preventing Elder Fraud.