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Chisholm 5th Grader Hits a Homerun for Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy Essay Winner Celebrates at Twins Game Wednesday Night but Lifetime of Financial Savvy, the Real Win

August 29, 2013


For Immediate Release:

CHISHOLM, MN – Chisholm Elementary 5th grader Daniel Rusten, this year’s winner of the Hit a Homerun for Financial Literacy Contest, a statewide essay contest sponsored by Governor Mark Dayton, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, and the Minnesota Twins celebrated Wednesday at the Twins Game with the other entrants in the 2013 Essay Contest.

Daniel’s award-winning essay discussed the smart financial advice he would give to his grandchildren in the future. Daniel won four free tickets  to the Twins  August 28th game against the Kansas City Royals, a bat signed by Minnesota Twin Joe Mauer, and a shout-out on the Twins-O-Gram big screen during the fifth inning.

“Writing this essay helped me think about what is important when making decisions about money,” Rusten said. “At school and with my family, we talked about what kids can do when they are young to make smart decisions for their future.”

During Financial Literacy Month last April, Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman announced the statewide contest asking all Minnesota kids in grades 3-5 to describe three things they would tell their grandchildren to make smart financial decisions. 

During the month of April, essays flooded into the Commerce Department from classrooms across the state. Students from Fertile, Chisholm, Hill City, Edina, Saint Paul, Minneapolis, Elk River, and other cities stepped up to the plate with their ideas of how to be responsible with their finances. In the end, Daniel Rusten took home the MVP. Daniel’s essay can be read on the Commerce Department website

“On behalf of Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Department of Commerce, we congratulate Daniel for his award-winning essay – and every Minnesota kid who participated in this year’s essay contest,” said Commissioner Rothman. “This contest offered an important learning experience for kids across Minnesota. Spending habits start early with kids and it is crucial that every kid gets a head start thinking about smart financial decisions – from saving early, to spending wisely, to being educated consumers.”

The winning essay included three financial principles that all Minnesotans from all ages can learn from. Daniel’s advice: learn how to tell the difference between wants versus needs, start saving early, and to protect financial and personal information online.

Winner bio

Learn more about Daniel and read his award-winning essay on the Minnesota Department of Commerce website.

Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is a life-long learning process.  The Minnesota Department of Commerce is committed to empowering Minnesotans from Kindergarten to retirement in their financial decision making.  Creating a budget, understanding credit, taking out student loans, buying a home, planning for a family, investing for retirement and managing assets of a loved one provide opportunities for ongoing financial education.  Visit the Commerce website for more about financial literacy and the initiatives of the Department.