Three Alberta high school graduates each win $2,000 amidst challenging graduating year.

Credit Unions of Alberta is pleased to announce and celebrate the winners from its contest initiative Class of 2020: Own Your Financial Future.

Vivian Tran from Archbishop MacDonald High School (Edmonton), Ksenia Pankratyeva from McNally High School (Edmonton), and Kwasi Oteng from St. Francis High School (Calgary) are the contest winners based on the criteria set out by Alberta Central. The three winners’ earnings include $2,000 in cash deposited into a new chequing or savings account with their local credit union.

Starting in June and ending July 31, high school graduates across Alberta entered the Class of 2020: Own Your Financial Future contest via Instagram for their shot at $2,000 to put towards their financial future. Created to offset a challenging year felt by graduates that included cancelled graduation ceremonies and altered post-secondary plans, the contest sought to alleviate financial stress felt by many this year.

“Now more than ever, graduates could use a financial boost as they head into the next chapter of their lives that have certainly been altered by COVID-19,” said Ian Burns, President and CEO of Alberta Central. “This contest was meant to celebrate their graduation and their future. I want to extend my congratulations to Vivian, Ksenia and Kwasi on well-deserved wins and to all the other applicants who entered the contest.”

To be considered in the contest, graduates were asked to post a video of themselves to Instagram explaining why they deserved to win and what they would do with the prize money. Following the contest deadline, Alberta Central selected winners who best met or exceeded the criteria, which included demonstrating innovation in their video, describing how they would champion change in their community, and exuding creativity in their submission.

Each winner delivered compelling video submissions, each with a unique story. Tran, of Edmonton, outlined her intentions to use the funds towards her education at University of Alberta and to launch her small business. Oteng shared his plans to pursue his Bachelor of Business at Mount Royal University in Calgary and donate a portion of the funds towards battling heart disease. Lastly, Pankratyeva’s submission centred around her passion of receiving an education in music and her dedication of time and money to women’s shelters.

“Winning this contest has allowed me to cover some of the costs toward university tuition and help alleviate any stress of having to borrow student loans,” said Tran, one of the winning graduates. “It has given me the opportunity to expand on my small business and allows me to work while doing something I love: creating art.”

“I was so happy to win this contest,” said Oteng, another winner. “I am excited by the opportunities this will give me for my school and soccer career.”

“Winning this contest brings me one step closer to achieving my goals in music and as a community advocate,” said Pankratyeva, the final winner of the Class of 2020: Own Your Financial Future contest. “This gift has given me a helpful boost into accomplishing the dreams I have without having to limit myself.”

For more information about the contest, visit: albertacreditunions.com/blog/classof2020

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