The Sentence Center’s Essay Contest Winners

Summer 2015 Winner – High School Level
Prompt: Write about a time when you made a wise decision with your money.

A Wise Decision with Money
Adam M., 10th grade

A time in which I made my wisest decision was made when I was 13 years old. I invested my money in a clothing company which I currently own today. I believe this is my wisest decision because I have learned how to run a business and attained my original investment.

I came up with my company in eighth grade. I wanted to express my passion for skateboarding by creating a product for skateboarders. My company started as an idea; I wanted to make something out of it but I was not very inspired. I went to school one day and told my friends about my idea. They loved it and told me to pursue my dream. After hearing this, I was inspired to create what is now TnK. I got to work on creating my first design. First, I had to find a manufacturer that was in my price range. Then, I had to come up with a design and send it to a graphic designer. I searched the Internet, looking for a manufacturer in America. Unfortunately I was unsuccessful and continued to look elsewhere.

After researching for a few months, I found a manufacturer in China. I had to communicate with their representatives which was very difficult because they hardly spoke English. After weeks of communicating back­ and­ forth, I ordered my first t-­shirt design and was very excited that my idea was transforming into a company. I received my t-­shirts a few weeks after school had ended. My family and friends were very supportive and bought my product. By the end of summer, over 50 people had a TnK shirt, and my product was in the local skate shop. I was able to earn my original investment and had some extra profit.

I decided to make several other designs and recruit skateboarders to ride for my company. After the first design, I had some complaints about the quality. I had to find a new manufacturer that made higher quality t-­shirts. After researching, I found a new manufacturer in China, and we were able to agree on a price. My second design was going to be even better than my first design because the quality was going to be 10 times better and the design was great. The second design was a skyline of San Francisco. I decided to make this design so that people could have a personal connection with the t-­shirt.

Once again, I recuperated my money and reinvested into the company. With the profits, I was able to create sweatshirts, more t-shirts, and stickers which are now printed in America. I also wanted to give back to the skateboard community and donated $100 to the Ryan Sheckler foundation, a charity that helps injured and less fortunate skateboarders. This company has helped me to experience both the business and clothing industry, resulting in many connections for the future.

This investment is the wisest investment I’ve made because I started the company two years ago and the company is still going today.

You can support Adam’s investment at TnK Clothing Company.


Summer 2015 Winner – Middle School Level
Prompt: If you received $1,000,000, what are three things you would do with it? Why?

Spending $1,000,000 Wisely
Warren K., 6th grade

What would you do with one million dollars?  Many people would say they would buy a car, or spend it all on video games, but I’m too young to drive a car, and video games aren’t important. I’ll put some of my money in my bank account, invest in stocks, and invest in real estate.

I would put two hundred thousand dollars in my bank account for college and my later life because after I’m 18, my parents wouldn’t need to worry about not having money to pay for my college tuition and can enjoy the rest of their life. Saving my money in my bank also benefits me because I wouldn’t need to rely on people to give me money and I could learn to be independent. I wouldn’t need to bug people for money but can just go and withdraw money from my bank account. Saving money in my bank for my later is life is one thing I would do with one million dollars.

After putting two hundred thousand dollars in my bank, I would still have eight hundred thousand dollars. With four hundred thousand dollars, I would use that money to invest in stocks. I wouldn’t invest my money on old companies like Apple or Microsoft because they have a better chance of going bankrupt than other new companies like Tesla and others. Though I would only invest in new companies, I wouldn’t invest too much money on businesses or else if  the company goes bankrupt, I would lose a lot of money. Once I buy a stock, I’ll wait until it grows and then I will sell it. Buy less and sell for more. If I keep doing that, I would probably gain fifty thousand dollars or more. Buying stocks is another thing I would do if I had one million dollars.

Now that I have a decent amount of  money, I would start investing money on real estate.  I would probably have roughly $900,000 so that would be barely enough to buy a house. I would buy a house that has a good growing rate, just like stocks. After a year or two, I would sell the house because it would be worth more money.  I would then use that money to buy another house, then sell it for more. I would keep doing this process over and over again. By the time I get to college, I would have one million five hundred thousand dollars or maybe even more. Then I would put that all that money in my bank.

Storing my bank, investing in stocks, and in real estate. That is what I would do with one million dollars. Sometimes I would lose money, but there’s a better chance that I would gain money so that is what I would do with $1,000,000.


Summer 2015 Winner – Middle School Level
Prompt: If you received $1,000,000, what are three things you would do with it? Why?

What I Would Do With a Million Dollars
Jeffrey D., 5th grade

If you received one million dollars in the mail, what would you do with it? Buy a car or mansion? Buy a private plane? I would buy companies, donate to charity, start a business, and spend the rest on pleasure.

If I bought a profitable franchise, I could make some money and invest in other businesses. For example, I could buy Quickly, which is all over the planet. Then, I could use the money I earn and invest in other bigger companies like Google and Apple. Over time I could gain millions of dollars out of the investing in stocks.

With that money, I could take the risk of starting a business. I could make things that would preserve the Earth and at the same time be very useful. I would make biofuel cars, which only need waste like french fry grease to run. People have already invented the biofuel jet, so I could use the same concept to make a biofuel car. I would also manufacture solar powered cars, which would capture sunlight to run the car during the day and night. That way we don’t need gas cars, which pollute the atmosphere and oceans with carbon dioxide. Also, we wouldn’t need electric cars, which seemed like an excellent solution to pollution, but require using fossil fuels, which are very valuable. Even if the business doesn’t turn out good, I would still be able to gain money by investing in companies.

I would also donate to charity and could help people in need. I would donate money to homeless shelters and soup kitchens. With lots of money, I could donate to places that house people in need, like PARCA, too.

I wouldn’t spend all my money on helping others, though. I would also use the money for my family’s pleasure. I would buy cameras for my dad because he likes taking pictures. I would also buy him professional cooking sets because he likes to cook good food for us. I would also use my money to help my mom invest in companies. I would buy my brother a mansion with comfy beds and huge rooms because his room is small and stuffed. He would have a huge office to do his homework in while being comfortable.

If I received a million dollars in the mail, this is what I would do with it. I would buy businesses and stocks, start a company, donate to charity, and spend the rest on pleasure for my family.


Summer 2015 Winner – Elementary School Level
Prompt: What do you think are the 3 best ways to save and grow your money?

Saving and Making Money Tips
Katelyn C., 4th grade

Are you a saver or spender?  If you save tons of money, follow your normal  routine. If you are a spender, read this very carefully.  Spending on toys or anything is bad and later you will deplore your spend.  If you have an affinity for spending money, here are three ways to save and make money.

The first way to make money is to start a business. The business can sell goods or do stuff for people like mowing their lawns or weeding their yards. For example, you want to sell personalized friendship bracelets. You first need to get supplies like multicolor strings and cool beads.  Your price should be more than how much you spend on the items to make them.  Good luck for your business.

Another moneymaking idea is to start an allowance. Washing dishes, taking out the garbage, and folding clothes are terrific ideas to start with. You can make money by doing chores around the house. Check with your parents and see how much they can offer if any. If you really really want to buy something like a phone, you can keep on doing chores and in a year or less, you can get a phone. Chores might be boring and  challenging, but you can make a great deal of money.

A final way to save money is to keep your money arduous to get, and not accessible. If you keep your money hard to get like in a bank, you won’t spend money because you can’t access the money easily. Also, it is a great idea to keep some money aside so if you really want something like a souvenir from a field trip to Yosemite, you will be able to get the money easily.  For instance, you go shopping with your best friend every time you have a play date with her.  This time you see a brand new neon pink nail polish color from a very expensive, overpriced brand, and it compels you to buy it.  There is a discount, but it is still a lot, $10 for a small bottle and $18 for a medium bottle.  When you think about that you can’t access your money in the bank, you won’t buy that cool color.  Keep in mind that if you need a neon pink nail polish color or you really want it, it is okay to buy it. Only once in a while though and consider buying the same pink color from a cheaper brand.

These are some ways to make money. Remember, if you buy something with a coupon, it is still cheaper, but you are still spending money! Start saving your money now!


© 2016 The Sentence Center. All Rights Reserved