For someone who’s biggest monetary win included a few dollars in scratch-off tickets, Adam Schweickert’s luck has changed.
He was named the grand prize sweepstakes winner of Sallie Mae’s Upromise after entering the “Make the Pledge, Keep the Promise” sweepstakes online. Over 300,000 names were entered.
The prize: Sallie May will pay $150,000 for his education. The sweepstakes was part of a promotion for a new college savings plan called Upromise.
“Paying for college has been challenging. Now we can pay back money my parents borrowed for my education, plus cover the remainder of my college expenses. It even makes an MBA a possibility,” he says.
Schweickert’s family took out loans and he was contributing, too, by saving money from part-time summer work at the City Streets Department at his hometown of Peru, Ill. He also makes pocket money on campus by replacing cracked iPhone screens for fellow students, and estimates he’s replaced 50 screens in the past two years.
Adam just finished his junior year at the University of Iowa after transferring from an Illinois community college where he regularly made the honor roll. That’s where he discovered he’s most comfortable working with numbers and had an interest in business. He set his sights on transferring to a Big Ten institution to pursue a finance degree.
After just one semester on campus, Adam joined Campus Leaders Today, Career Leaders Tomorrow (CLT) and became executive operations chair of the organization.
“This group is associated with the Career Leadership Academy at the Pomerantz Career Center and is a good way to focus on growing my leadership skills,” Schweickert says.
He admits he was speechless after learning he was named the big winner, and his mother describes the situation as winning the “educational lottery.” He’s the oldest in the family, and his sister will start college next fall. Due to his good fortune, his family will focus on funding one child’s education rather than two.
“It’s an honor to be selected and I appreciate that Sallie Mae made my school dreams possible. It’s been crazy, he says.”