Dream big, win big

Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET)

Two Southington elementary students received contributions to their Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) college fund after successfully entering a contest. Elliot Schatz from Derynoski Elementary School and Juliet Murphy from Kelley Elementary School were among 44 winners from across the state.

Earlier this year, the two Southington students entered the CHET “Dream Big!” college scholarship competition, where participants in kindergarten through third grade are asked to submit an original drawing that illustrates, “What do I want to do after I go to college?” Students in grades four through eight must complete an essay that answers the question, “How will I change the world after I go to college?”

The competition was open to students in kindergarten through eighth grade and drew more than 2,800 entries from schools in 106 of the State’s 169 municipalities.

State treasurer Denise Nappier was presented a CHET award to Elliot Schatz from Derynoski Elementary School.

Schatz’s picture depicts him as an underwater scientist, exploring animal life deep in the ocean. He received a $500 award for his entry, which will be added to his CHET account for his collegiate endeavors.

Murphy was one of the four grand prize winners to receive a $1,000 account contribution. She created a 3-dimensional drawing, depicting herself as an NBC news anchor.

In addition to their monetary award, Schatz and Murphy also had the opportunity to meet the Connecticut State Treasurer, Denise Nappier, at the Connecticut Science Center during a ceremony held on May 19.

State treasurer Denise Nappier presented a CHET award to Juliet Murphy from Kelley Elementary School.

The ceremony recognized all of the students who were awarded scholarships and also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the “Dream Big!” competition. Nappier presented certificates and took photos with each winner during the event.

Over the last 10 years, the CHET Dream Big! competition has made contributions to 724 accounts, totaling more than $239,000. Over 31,000 Connecticut students have shared their college dreams in Dream Big! entries.

Schatz’s mother, Elyse Krantz, plans to work with DES principal Jan Verderame to coordinate a school-wide effort to spread the news about the competition, distribute entry forms, and collect completed submissions. The school in each county that submits the greatest number of entries will win $500.

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