February 26, 2020

ABA: California Teen Named Grand Prize Winner of National Video Contest

‘Lights, Camera, Save!’ inspires kids and teens to save during America Saves Week

Michaela Oh, a 16-year-old student at Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif., is the national winner of the American Bankers Association Foundation’s Lights, Camera, Save! video contest.

Lights, Camera, Save!, which launched in 2010, is a unique national competition that encourages kids to use video to communicate the value of saving and motivate their peers. This year, 142 banks hosted 163 contests in 46 states as a part of Lights, Camera, Save!

Oh’s video—chosen by a panel of personal finance and communications experts— encourages viewers to think twice before making purchases. The young adult featured in the short film is presented with several opportunities to spend her money on small, unnecessary items. By opting to save her money, she ultimately finds herself in a much stronger position to pay for college than her peers. Oh was named a national finalist after winning the local contest at American Riviera Bank in Santa Barbara.

She wins $5000 for her first place finish, and her video, along with those of the other finalists, will be showcased at ABA’s upcoming Washington Summit.

“Michaela’s video reminds viewers to always pause before purchasing and ask yourself if this is something you need or just something you want,” said Corey Carlisle, executive director of the ABA Foundation. “Forming these types of savings habits, particularly when you are young, can have a big impact on your long-term financial goals.”

“We are thrilled for Michaela and proud to see her video earn this national recognition,” said Jeff DeVine, president and CEO, American Riviera Bank. “Lights, Camera, Save! is an incredibly enriching program, and it’s given Michaela and American Riviera Bank a great opportunity to educate those in our community about the value of saving for the future.”

The Lights, Camera, Save! judging panel also selected the second and third place winners announced today. Sujay Khona, a 16-year-old student at Fairfax Academy in Fairfax, Va., earned second place for ‘The Savings Genie.’ Khona won Burke & Herbert Bank’s local competition. Third place was awarded to Ryan Song, a 14-year-old student at Buena Vista Seventh-day Adventist School of Auburn, Wash., for his video ‘Money with Matt and Mike.’ He won a local contest at Yakima Federal Savings & Loan.

First Place Winner—$5,000
Save Your Money and Stay Winning

Michaela Oh (Whitney High School, Rocklin, Calif.)
American Riviera Bank (Santa Barbara, Calif.)

Second Place Winner—$2,500
The Savings Genie

Sujay Khona (Fairfax Academy, Fairfax, Va.)
Burke & Herbert Bank (Alexandria, Va.)

Third Place Winner—$1,000
Money with Matt and Mike

Ryan Song (Buena Vista Seventh-day Adventist School, Auburn, Wash.)
Yakima Federal Savings & Loan (Yakima, Wash.)

This year’s expert panel of volunteer judges includes George Barany, director, Consumer Federation of America; Kendall Buchanan, CTO and co-founder, Banzai; Katlyn Grasso, CEO and founder, GenHERation; Beverly Harzog, consumer finance analyst and credit card expert, U.S. News & World Report; and Ashley Jacobs, director of marketing, Wise Bread.

In addition to the cash prizes for the national finalists, the ABA Foundation will also award a scholarship for a teacher from each winning school to attend the 2020 Jump$tart National Educator Conference in Atlanta.

This year, Lights, Camera, Save! is sponsored by Banzai, a free, online financial literacy platform for students of all ages that merges classroom learning with real-world experience.

Note to Editors: Click here to view the grand prize announcement video and national finalists.

This post was originally published here.