Past Winners



  Deirdre Flanagan – 2012 Money Smart KidDeirdre_resize.jpg Age: 11

Grade: 6th



School: Cardinal Joseph Bernardin School, Orland Hills, IL

Currently Deirdre is a 6th grader at Cardinal Joseph Bernardin School. She dreams of attending Harvard University, considering law or journalism as possible majors.

Deirdre continues to excel academically, and strives to reach ‘enrichment’ standards year after year.

She also is very active as she is a member of student council at CJB, sings in school choir, and plays basketball with the school. Recently, Deirdre has b


een chosen as the lead role, Dorothy, in the school’s upcoming musical ‘The Wizard of Oz.’

Deirdre continues to show interest in finance as she is researching “Penny Stocks” with a view to learn how the stock market works, and has invested a portion of her 2012 holiday money.


Charlie Tiseo – 2011 Money Smart Kid



 Age: 13


Grade: 7


School: Still Middle School

Charlie Tiseo is an active 7th grader at Still Middle School. Not only does he participate in the gifted program at school, but he is also involved in baseball, football, wrestling, Boy Scouts and bans and wind assemble.

In his spare time, Charlie hangs out with his friends, watches TV and plays mind craft. At this point, Charlie hasn’t encountered any major financial decisions, but he did enjoy learning about the differing financial views in the election.

In the future he hopes to attend Stanford or the University of Michigan.




Kamal Bilal –2010 Money Smart Kid


Age: 17

Grade: 11

School: Whitney Young

Kamal Bilal is looking to finish is junior year at Whitney Young High school. In the next few years, Kamal hopes to attend the University of Michigan, Stanford, or University of Wisconsin in Madison to study Finance.

Kamal also stays busy as he writes for a non-profit magazine called ‘On the Money’ whose objective is to educate students and families about the basics of financial literacy. Along with writing articles he also leads the financial committee for the magazine.

Whenever Kamal has downtime, he continues to manage his Scott-Trade account and saving account. Kamal loves to play soccer and participates by playing on the Whitney Young team and in Club soccer. He also enjoys his time as a counselor at Hi-Five Jr. NBA Program.



 Jackson Beard – 2009 Money Smart Kid


Age: 17

Grade: 12

School: Walter Payton College Prep

Intended Major:  International relations and a minor in Mandarin Chinese

Jackson Beard will soon be graduating from High school as she hopes at attend Stanford University in the fall with an intended major in international relations and a minor in Mandarin Chinese.

During her time at Walter Payton she has been an active leader in roles such as the President of the Model United Nations and elected student body representative on her school council.

Jackson is looking forward to transition into college. This decision will be one of the biggest decisions she has been confronted with thus far. She is grateful for the Money Smart Kid scholarship as it will surely help.



Myles Gage – 2008 Money Smart Kid


Age: 19 years old

Grade: Freshman

School: University of Illinois at Urbana


Myles Gage is in his first year at the College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana. Very quickly Myles found himself participating in many organizations and competitions, such as the Midwest Diversity Case Competition and National Black MBA Association. 

Myles works as an intern at Loop Capital Markets investment management firm during school breaks. Myles has been an active investor for the past six years as he manages his own portfolio. Myles even had the opportunity to meet and hang out with Warren Buffett!

He is a passionate writer and has been honored for his poetry and short stories.  Myles has been recognized by the Newspaper in Education (NIE) and the Allstate Foundation for his award winning essay about the “Importance of Diversity.”  The essay was published in a special section in the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper.

Myles describes himself as a normal teen who loves to skateboard, collect gym shoes produce music and of course invest!


Christopher Szulc – 2007 Money Smart Kid

Photo and Biography not available.



Aaron Lidawer – 2006 Money Smart Kid


Age: 19

Grade: Freshman

School: Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Aaron is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania. Most of his time currently goes towards working with a team at school that will compete in this year’s Wharton Business Plan Competition.

In high school Aaron founded Re-CYCLE Rides Inc. which sold high end used bikes on a consignment basis. The business was profitable and had over $100,000 of gross sales. While he is not continuing the business in college, he learned a tremendous amount from that experience and will continue to be entrepreneurial in the future.

In addition to this business interests he is also an active triathlete. He has competed in 28 triathlons including an Iron-man (2.4 mi swim, 112 mi bike, 26.2 mi run)




Damon Williams –2005 Money Smart Kid

Photo and Biography not available.


Mario Gage – 2004 Money Smart Kid


Age: (6th grade in 2004) currently early 20s

Grade: Junior in College

School: University of Chicago

Major: Economics

The first Money Smart Kid, Mario Gage, is currently a junior at the University of Chicago studying Economics. His involvement at the University of Chicago stretches from being a member of the student-run investment club, The Blue Chips (TBC), to hosting a classic hip-hip show on the University’s radio show. Mario is an avid investor. He performs a variety of analyses on stocks and companies, for not only for his personal portfolio but also for The Blue Chips. Mario also has had the opportunity to experience some hands-on work at MorningStar, Ariel Investments and Loop Capital Markets as an intern.

In his spare time, Mario also enjoys collecting vinyl albums, 12 inch records and creating compilations of music in the form of “mixtapes.”