McRae: Drawing Dreams

By Treasurer David McRae

Every year, your State Treasury hosts an Art Contest for Pre-K through 12th-Grade Students. This year’s competition drew in more than 1,000 applications – each of which featured a child’s dreams in answering the question: What do you want to do when you grow up?

The truth is that I love this time of year because we get to see hundreds of snapshots of Mississippi’s future. Teachers and librarians. Shipbuilders and architects. Nurses, chefs, and law enforcement officers. Each of these careers start with a dream that’s been sketched out in a child’s mind, and through time and nurturing, they swell into actionable plans, educational ambitions, internships, and jobs.

Of course, the path to many of these career fields requires additional schooling where proper financing is often the lead obstacle. And with tuition prices rising, that obstacle seems more obstructive than ever.

The State Treasury, however, has two programs that help families overcome the financial burdens. Mississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) accounts allow families to save over time and take advantage of compound interest too! Meanwhile, a Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition (MPACT) plan empowers families to lock in today’s tuition rates and prepay their child’s education.

According to a University of Michigan study, “a low- and moderate-income child who has school savings of $1 to $499 prior to reaching college age is over three times more likely to enroll in college and four times more likely to graduate from college than a child with no savings account.” In other words, starting a MACS or MPACT account with any contribution amount puts a child that much closer to achieving the career dreams they’ve drawn in their minds.

This year’s College Savings Mississippi Art Contest winners received a total of $3,500 worth of scholarships. It won’t pay for college, but I’m hopeful it will keep their dreams alive. So today, I’d like to take a moment to congratulate the winners:

  • Nora Guo from Madison, Saint Andrews Episcopal School
  • Baylor Bounds from Hattiesburg, Presbyterian Christian School
  • Vera Kate Parsons from Iuka, Iuka Elementary School
  • Lauren Phou from Southaven, DeSoto Central Elementary School
  • Atharva Mantri from Meridian, Northeast Lauderdale Elementary School
  • Jasper Powell from Jackson, Ida B. Wells APAC
  • Jo Lin from Madison, Madison Middle School
  • Michael Bland from Madison, Madison Middle School
  • Joselin Godinez from Madison, Madison Middle School
  • Jaliyah Bell from Jackson, Ida B. Wells APAC
  • Kadence Anding from Brandon, Brandon High School
  • Gracey Nerren from Isola, Deer Creek School

I also want to extend a special congratulations to Kimberly Stinson of Oak Grove Middle School, who won our Educator Scholarship for the third year in a row. Her students submitted more than 130 pieces of art!

If you are interested in learning more about the State Treasury’s College Savings Mississippi program, please visit