LANSING – A new Michigan Education Savings Program advertising campaign will star a Rochester Hills preschooler.
Five-year-old Lorelei Susko was named the winner of Metro Parent magazine’s CoverKids Search contest, sponsored by MESP. Her prize will see her appear in upcoming digital, print and television advertisements for MESP as well as on the cover of the June edition of Metro Parent.
Lorelei, who will be a kindergartner in Rochester Community Schools next fall, gained CoverKids status when a photo her parents submitted was chosen from 3,000 other entrants by a panel of southeast Michigan photographers.
The daughter of Dan and Michelle Susko was also given a $1,529 MESP savings account.
“That’s definitely icing on the cake to winning the contest,” said Michelle Susko. “We hadn’t really started saving for her college education yet, and we want to be able to support her. We make sure that she knows her future plans include going to college.”
MESP executive director Robin Lott said the contest is meant to serve as a fun way to draw attention to how higher education can help children achieve their dreams.
“We’re hopeful that featuring an actual Michigan child in the advertising campaign will help other Michigan families relate to the importance of saving for college,” she said.
The amount of Lorelei’s award – $1,529 – is significant because the MESP is what is known as a 529 plan, named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, which created these types of savings plans. The contest was designed to coincide with 529 Day – May 29 – created to increase awareness about saving for college.
MESP is one of three Michigan Section 529 plans, all of which offer Michigan taxpayers a state income tax deduction on contributions and potential tax-free growth on any earnings if account proceeds are used to pay for qualified expenses. MESP can be used at any eligible college, university or trade school in the nation and some abroad for a variety of qualified expenses, including tuition, mandatory equipment, fees, certain room and board costs and books.
To learn more about MESP, visit MIsaves.com.