Neela Rogers, 7, and her mother, Niccole Rogers, are thanking the community for their votes in the inaugural Gerber Life College Scholarship Contest.
Neela has won a $100 gift card and An Awesome Book! by Dallas Clayton.
“She is excited and proud,” Niccole Rogers said.
Neela, a Temple Terrace Girl Scout, was the only person from the Tampa Bay area competing in the contest, which offered 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. Through Sept. 15, Facebook users logged on to the Gerber Life Facebook page and voted for their favorite drawing.
The 20 drawings with the most votes went before a panel of judges, who selected the grand-prize winner. The 19 runners-up each received a $100 gift card.
Judges included financial expert Farnoosh Torabi, renowned author and illustrator Dallas Clayton, and Gerber Life representatives, according to information provided by Gerber Life. They voted on creativity, color selection and composition.
The contest drew 183 entries and more than 26,000 votes. Neela ended up with 524 votes.
Neela, who wants to be a teacher when she grows up, drew a picture of the classroom she would have.
“Neela wants to put her $100 winnings in the bank so it can grow and help pay for college,” Niccole Rogers said. “She also had one special request: ‘Let’s find another scholarship contest.’ I absolutely love that she wants to keep trying. I love that she has the spirit of saving her money to meet specific goals.
“(I want) to thank everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to vote for Neela.”
7-Year-Old Needs Votes For Scholarship