Neela Rogers, 7, wants to be a teacher when she grows up, and she’s hoping to help make that happen with $20,000 from Gerber Life.
Neela, a Temple Terrace Girl Scout, is the only person from the Tampa Bay area competing in the Gerber Life College Scholarship Contest, which is offering kids ages 3-8 the opportunity to win a $20,000 scholarship.
From Aug. 1-31, kids drew pictures of what they want to be when they grow up. Now, Facebook users can log on to the Gerber Life Facebook page and vote for their favorite drawing through Sept. 15.
The 20 drawings with the most votes will go before a panel of judges, who will select the grand-prize winner. The 19 runners-up will each receive a $100 gift card. All winners will be announced at the end of September.
Neela’s mom, Niccole Rogers said she’s excited about the prospect of Neela receiving a scholarship. She encouraged Neela to enter the contest last month.
“She likes to draw and talk about the future, and that is what this contest is about,” Rogers said. “Neela has always talked about being a teacher and archeologist when she grows up. I asked her if she wanted to enter the contest. She bounced the idea around for a week and she finally came back excited and ready to enter.”
Once she saw her artwork on the Gerber Life Facebook page and the votes it was getting, she became “extremely excited,” Rogers said: “Neela ran around the house yelling, ‘I am going to win, I am going to win this contest!’”
Rogers said she encouraged friends, family members, and co-workers with small children to enter the contest.
“I sent out multiple emails and plastered the contest all over Facebook,” she said. “I thought the dollar amount would surely get attention, but the response was minimal. No one really seemed interested, and I was a little shocked by that.”
Now, Rogers is spreading the word about the contest by encouraging everyone to vote. She said local organizations and small businesses owners, such as owner Melissa Hammerling and Girl Scout Daisy Troop 2006, are excited for Neela.
On Wednesday, Neela had more than 250 votes, which put her in 31st place out of 183 entries. Rogers said she hopes more community members will log on and vote.
“Neela is the only Tampa Bay student in this race, and there is no reason she should not win with such a large community voting for her,” she said.
To vote for Neela, visit the Gerber Life Facebook page and “Like” the page. Then click on “College Scholarship Contest,” and “Vote Now.” You can search “Neela” or find her about halfway down. You can vote once a day through Sept. 15.