Armani Romero, a first-grade student at Little Red School, drew a picture of what he hopes to be some day: a professional basketball player.
“I want to be an NBA player and many more things when I grow up,“ he said.
In the meantime, he’s doing pretty well as an artist. Romero’s drawing was one of 216 entered in the AZ529 Future Career Art Contest sponsored by the Arizona State Treasurer’s Office for kids in grades K-5. And it was one of only 12 to be chosen a winner.
As a result, he received $529 towards a new or existing AZ529 Education Savings Plan account and was recognized during a ceremony at the Arizona Capitol on May 25. Romero was the only boy and the only student from Southern Arizona among the winners.
“Armani is a 7-year-old boy with stage 3 chronic kidney failure, as brave as a superhero and does not give up one bit,” said his mother, Little Red Superintendent/Principal Kathy Romero.
“As anyone from Little Red will say, he will grow up to do great things in life,” she said, adding: “We are all very proud of him.”
The $529 prize was awarded in recognition of Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, which created the AZ529 Education Savings Plan, a state-sponsored plan where earnings grow tax-free. The funds may be used for future educational expenses such as tuition for college, trade schools, or workforce development training.
For those who invest in an AZ529 Plan, the State of Arizona offers a state tax deduction of up to $2,000 per beneficiary for individual tax filers, and up to $4,000 per beneficiary for married tax filers who file a joint return. Friends and family members can also add to a child’s AZ529 account and earn the same tax benefits.
“As students look to their future and career goals, they can be encouraged there are savings opportunities to help them reach their dreams,” Arizona Treasurer Kimberly Yee said in a news release.