Press Releases

Elijah Murphy, sixth grader at CMS, was one of 15 regional winners in the 2019 contest.

West Virginia State Treasurer John Perdue will present Chapmanville Middle School with a check for having a student win in the SMART529 “When I Grow Up Contest” at 10:15 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 10 at the school.

Treasurer Perdue presents a check to Chapmanville Middle School principal Michelle Podunavac and 2019 When I Grow Up Winner Elijah Murphy

Sixth grader Elijah Murphy was selected as one of 15 regional winners in the 2019 contest, receiving $500 invested into a SMART529 WV Direct account. Murphy’s essay was selected from more than 3,300 entries in the 12th annual contest. Each winning student’s school is also recognized and awarded $500.

The contest gives kindergarten through fifth grade students a chance to share in nearly $12,000 in SMART529 savings for higher education. Essays from three age groups (grades K-1, 2-3, and 4-5) were judged in each of the five regions. In addition, SMART529 awarded a $2,500 cash prize to a West Virginia teacher who wrote an essay about using the contest in the classroom to encourage children to think about going to college.

The “When I Grow Up” student and teacher essay contests are sponsored by the SMART529 Education Savings Solution, The Hartford and the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office to promote awareness of SMART529 and the need for higher education savings.

SMART529 is a qualified tuition program issued by the West Virginia Prepaid College Tuition and Savings Program Board of Trustees and administered by Hartford Funds. Complete information about the SMART529 program contest, including the 2020 “When I Grow Up” essay contest, is available at

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