College Savings

Dreaming Big Together

An important component of MEFA's mission is to nurture a life-long love of learning and education with the thousands of families MEFA reaches each year. For families of young children all across the Commonwealth, we kick off our annual college savings art competition which is now in its 10th year. The art competition provides young children with an opportunity to depict what they want to be when they graduate from college. With my love of art education and inspiring creativity in young children in capturing their dreams, we began this popular program and look forward to another year of reviewing the dreams of thousands of young children across the Commonwealth.

Encourage your child to enter this year's competition. And if you're not sure how to get your child inspired, here are some ways to get energized and started.

    1. Have little BIG conversations
      Before getting into the act of creating art work that captures 'what do I want to be when I graduate from college' bring up this topic of conversation with your child. Talk about how you began your career, who inspired you and what did you want to be when you grew up;  share who your community and family role models were as well.

    1. Take a creative leap
      There are many interesting mediums to choose from beyond crayons and colored pencils. Consider using pastels, paints or even colored sharpies. And don't underestimate good paper—this is hugely important since this is the surface your dream will take its shape.

    1. Set up your creative working space
      Setting up your working space for the creative process to take shape is essential. Work with your little one to organize this area so that all the materials are there right at their fingertips to capture the creative process.

    1. Sketch out your plans
      As the parent of 3 young children, I work hard to be sure we begin our work by sketching out the initial thoughts. Encourage your child to talk it out and sketch out his or her thoughts. That way, he or she can get all the ideas out on paper and it provides a forum for the conversation.

    1. Most importantly, have fun
      Every year we receive incredible renditions of big dreams. Taking the time to sit with your little one and committing early to conversations about the future, college and careers is critical. Make a commitment to dream big together in the years to come and start now.

As parents, we cannot help but dream big for our children. We all want to provide the best that we can and to help make their dreams become a reality. The annual art competition for me is a chance to take time each year and have little Big conversations with each of my kids about what they want to be when they graduate from college. You'll not only be surprised about what they say and what they draw, you'll be captivated by their passion and their limitless vision of opportunity.