First place winner Gracie Nelson (center) of Banks High School with her parents.

BANKS - Gracie Nelson, a senior at Banks High School who plans to attend the University of Oregon next fall, won the grand prize -- a $3,000 scholarship -- in the 2019 Money Smart Teen Essay Contest. 

Nelson wrote in her essay how income volatility uniquely affects individual families, and discussed ideas of how families can prepare for future financial difficulties. 

The 2018-19 Banks High has demonstrated excellence all year, including Senior JJ Ellis winning the Oregon 4A 220-pound state championship on Feb. 23, and the Banks Braves winning the 4A state championship in football for the third time in school history. 

Also notable, two of the runners up in the writing challenge -- nationwide, there are four grande prize winners and eight teen runners up -- were Jessica Krueger and Jessica Woolfolk, respectively a junior and a senior and both from Tigard High School, who each received $1,000 scholarships.

Money Smart Teen Essay contestents wrote 300-word essaies on income volatility. Each teen discussed in their essay how families can cope if they’re blindsided with a sudden change in income, and how such scenarios can be elimniated by communities.

Country Financial and Financial Beginnings Oregon sponsored the essay contest. A pess release said the “winners presented compelling essays and showed a thorough understanding of personal finance as they wrote about income volatility, financial preparedness and offered actionable takeaways for families to implement.”