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2020 SaveYourRefund Winners

Meet our winners from last year’s SaveYourRefund contest!

$10,000 Grand Prize Winners

Name: Richard
Location: Glenolden, PA
Partner Site: Pathways PA

Growing up, saving has always been second nature to me. It has become a valuable skill to me that takes discipline but offers a great reward. This includes financial peace like having enough money saved up so when unforeseen circumstances or money issues come up you have a peace of mind knowing that you have something to fall back on. That’s a great relief of stress.

Nevertheless, saving wasn’t always easy for me. Growing up in a single parent home with four siblings made it very difficult to save because we needed to help with bills & other living expenses. I chose to save during tax time because I know the importance of having a savings for emergencies, vacation, & planning for the future. COVID19 is a prime example of why we should all be devoted to saving. Many people lost a lot including their businesses due to this pandemic.

Furthermore, I’m very grateful to have been one of the grand prize winners for this year. I thank God for life & the opportunity to live to be able to take part in such a contest. Also, for blessing me with enough money that I am able to save. I thank Pathways PA for bringing it to my attention and helping me throughout high school & filing my taxes. As well as the AARP foundation for organizing such a great thing to encourage people to save. This reward is big to me; God willing, it will have a huge impact in my life, my family’s, & generations to come. This will help me to get started to pursue my dream of starting a business that will help many people.

Name: Melissa
Location: Fremont, CA
Partner Site: Fremont Family Resource Center

Melissa grew up in a one-bedroom apartment in Oakland, California with a deaf, single mom who dropped out of college to raise her five children. With the help of a monthly check from the government, low-cost housing, and food stamps, they survived but it was a struggle. As the second oldest child, Melissa soon began helping her mom with the house and kids. Growing up with a single mom and limited resources caused barriers, but Melissa was determined to do well in school and attend college.

In 2015, Melissa graduated from Cal State University, East Bay with a BA degree in Psychology and a minor in American Sign Language. She is a first-generation college graduate and her family is very proud. Afterwards, Melissa started working with children with special needs as a Board-Certified Autism Technician and an ASL paraeducator. Melissa’s next goal is attending graduate school for Occupational Therapy and she hopes to enter Samuel Merritt University in the Fall of 2021. She plans to save the $10,000 prize for tuition.


$5,000 Prize Senior Entrants

Name: Christiane
Location: Forestville, CA
Partner Site: United Way Bay Area

What Motivated Me to Save Part of My Tax Refund?

2 years ago, I retired from a lifetime career of public service. My goal for retirement was to live a good, simple life that includes travel. I live an economical life that affords me the ability to save a little money. I have peace of mind knowing that even on a fixed income, I have an emergency fund. Saving a portion of my tax return has always been a habit for me to add to my nest egg.

What Will I Do With My Prize?

When I retired I bought a small school bus that had been converted into an RV; to achieve my retirement goal and use it for (future) travel throughout the U.S. My prize money will stay in the bank until needed for any number of unexpected expenses: Roadside emergency, vehicle maintenance, medical/healthcare cost, cost of living increase, funeral cost, etc. AND… I will treat myself to an occasional frivolous treat because it’s good for the soul! I am beyond grateful.

Name: Richard
Location: Chicago, IL
Partner Site: Truman College, Ladder Up

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