The Sentence Center’s Essay Contest Winners

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

Investment Essay
Aristotle M., 8th grade

For my twelfth birthday my parents gave me some money and said I needed to invest it in a local company of my choice. I had never invested in a company before, so I asked them for some advice. They said it should be a company whose products you are familiar with or that you admire. We sat down and brainstormed some ideas like: Apple, Electronic Arts, and Tesla, this cool new Silicon Valley electric car company. I had seen their cars and liked them a lot so I decided to invest in Tesla Motors. That is what started one of the best choices involving money that I have ever made.

After I purchased the shares at $145 each, I added TSLA to my phone. I looked at it a few times each day to see if it was going up and had a lot of fun looking at the news and the graphs that the stock app showed. I started looking at the website and got curious about how the cars were made so I asked my dad if we could go tour the company. He said only Tesla owners are allowed to tour the factory.

We went to the shareholders’ meeting at the Computer History Museum a few months later and got seats close to the aisle. They gave out packets with information about the company and what they were talking about. They even let me vote on the positions in the company. I learned more about the company’s goals, future products and their new plant in Nevada to produce lower cost batteries and the more affordable Model 3. Finally, Mr. Musk called “Any questions?” and everyone rushed up to the microphone. When it was my turn, I said my name, age and where I was from and I asked for a tour of the factory. He said definitely and that someone in the back would help me schedule my tour. Everyone clapped. I was excited that I was going to get a tour of the factory!

After meeting the head of marketing in the back, we scheduled a tour. We were allowed to bring up to nine people on the tour, so we invited some friends. It was awesome seeing how one of my favorite cars is made. I saw the robots that they use to assemble the parts and the stamping machines that make the parts from aluminum. I also saw the prototypes for the Roadster and the Model S. The tour gave me greater insight in the company which I partially own.

This was a good investment because it increased in value and taught me a lot about being a shareholder in the company and how the stock market works. It led me to invest some of my own money in shares of other companies like Go Pro, Apple, Nike and Virgin America.


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

10 Quarters
by Esther K., 4th grade

By the time I collected the spare quarters from the laundry, I had 10 already. I couldn’t even imagine having that many already in just two weeks! I saved it in my blue and white striped, small pouch, meant to put money or small items in for. But there was only one reason for this: tennis.

A month ago, my dad and I went to play tennis at a four-court field already filled with people. A man and his two daughters were playing volleyball. I was thinking to myself, “Why play volleyball at a tennis court?” Since this wasn’t allowed, a woman behind us rejected them and told them that it was not allowed. The woman was in the waiting line and followed us when we were coming in. Because we came first, we got the court.

About twenty minutes after playing, there was a flickering of the lights and loud noises for attention that the lights were going to turn off (at this court you needed to put quarters in a slot for the lights to turn on when it was dark). Because of this cause we decided to go back home. That’s when I chose to collect quarters.

Throughout the timeline of not playing tennis because of my busy schedule, I knew the blue and white pouch was useless. Then, three months later, we had an option to donate pennies to kids who had cancer. So I put in seven quarters in the donation box and felt a relief in my body thinking to myself, “That’s what’s so important about saving money.”

After this moment, I decided to now keep all my money and only use it when needed. Thank you quarters. Thanks you blue pouch.


© 2016 The Sentence Center. All Rights Reserved