Skip to Content
February 3, 2017

CollegeCounts Announces Winners of Statewide Smart Art Contest

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Feb. 1, 2017) – CollegeCounts – Alabama’s 529 college savings program – recently announced the grand prize winners of its Smart Art Contest. John Luke Burns of Cherokee Elementary, Jaden Spencer of Thompson Intermediate and Anna Rhea White of Guin Elementary received an in-person visit from the state treasurer and a $529 contribution in CollegeCounts funds.

The contest was open to all fourth grade students attending a public school in the state of Alabama. CollegeCounts, in partnership with the Alabama State Department of Education, offered a lesson on careers led by their school counselor ending with the students completing a 50-word narrative describing what they want to do after completing college along with accompanying artwork.

“We wanted this contest to serve as a catalyst for these young students to think early about their goals and let them know those dreams can be achieved, “said Young Boozer, treasurer for the state of Alabama and board chair for CollegeCounts.

Of the participating schools, one student from each school system was chosen as a first round winner. Their artwork was then sent to the state Capitol and judged in a second round to determine the final statewide winners. Each first round winner received a $100 CollegeCounts 529 account contribution.

“Paying for college can be a daunting task, and we hope this initial investment will encourage continued contribution by each winner and their family, “said Boozer.

Although the competition has closed, parents are able to enroll for a CollegeCounts 529 account and begin saving for their student’s collegiate futures at any time. CollegeCounts has no minimum contribution requirement, allowing families to open accounts and save a little each month through quality investment funds.

Funds may be withdrawn and used at colleges, universities, trade schools and graduate schools at one-, two- and four-year schools in Alabama and across the U.S. Under the 529 Section of the tax code, special tax benefits are provided to families saving for future college expenses. Alabama taxpayers may receive a generous state income tax deduction of up to $10,000 for married couples filing jointly ($5,000 for single filers) on contributions to CollegeCounts each year.

For more information about CollegeCounts, Alabama’s 529 Fund and how to open an account, please visit


John Luke Burns, Cherokee Elementary

Jaden Spencer, Thompson Intermediate

Anna Rhea White, Guin Elementary


*First-round winners included:

Maggie Laray Anderson Thomasville Elementary
Lena Mae Baker Green Valley Elementary
Jamya Blue Union Springs Elementary
Hampton Bradley Bowen Horseshoe Bend School
Luisa Brown West Limestone Elementary
John Luke Burns Cherokee Elementary
Jack Cobb Vestavia Hills Liberty Park Elementary
Kalynn Davis Huntington Place Elementary
Taladria Dean Maryvale Elementary
Dawson Duboise Lynn Elementary
Anna Kate Everitt McBride Elementary
Ainsley Foy Childersburg Elementary
Ben Gamper Daniel Pratt Elementary
Gage Gardner Wellborn Elementary
Preston Gay East Elementary
Isabella Gentry Pelham Oaks Elementary
Allison Gonzalez Wedowee Middle
Roderick Graham, Jr. Central Elementary
Dahae Gu Pike Road School
Vayda Guido LE Willson Elementary
Owen Harris Parkside Elementary
Morgan Hart Cherokee Elementary
Alana Hayes Harrand Creek Elementary
Anabelle Hilburn Piedmont Elementary
Blakeli James Magnolia School
Lacey Jennings Thorsby High School
Makinley Johnson Priceville Elementary
Phalynn Jordan Ashville Elementary
Aurora Lang Rainbow Elementary
Madonno Keyes Tallassee Elementary
Carly Kimbrell Berry Elementary
Callie Ann Lovelady Moulton Elementary
Camille Victoria Lucas Sumiton Elementary
Alexandra Jaimes Martinez Fultondale Elementary
Jacy Matthews Highland Elementary
Callahan Greear McCarthy Montana Magnet School
Raegan McKinney Boaz Intermediate
Alice Merck Caldwell Elementary
Jaylien Moorer DC Wolfe Elementary
Jose Nava Greensboro Elementary
Brady Richardson Zion Chapel School
Sonia Garcia Rodriguez Crossville Middle
Kimberly Rucker Eufaula Elementary
Jaden Spencer Thompson Intermediate
Barbara Kate Van Sweringen John S. Jones Elementary
Keelani Waldrop Paine Elementary
Zoe Walling New Hope Elementary
Anna Rhea White Guin Elementary
Camille White Sulligent Elementary
Amari Jade Williams Edgewood Elementary
Katelyn Williams KDS DAR Elementary
Joshua Wilson Ridgecrest Elementary
Kayleana Wright Dixie Elementary


Back to top