Lakshya Jaignanesh just can’t stop smiling. Turning 7 this month, she’s a happy-go-lucky kid who loves to read, has a knack for spelling and enjoys baking cookies with her sister.
The Ypsilanti first grader has another reason to be all smiles, too. She’s the grand-prize winner of Metro Parent’s 2016 CoverKids contest, where hundreds of kids competed to be featured on our magazine’s covers. Lakshya also got another pretty grand prize: $2,529 in college savings.
“She is famous for her smile and eyes,” says her dad, Jai Jaignanesh. “She can’t respond to a question without a smile.”
A bright student with a kind heart, little Lakshya and her sister grow their hair out each year to donate to cancer patients. Her favorite subjects are reading and science and her hobbies include swimming and soccer.
The grand prize was offered by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc., the program manager for the Michigan Education Savings Program. You might notice the amount of $2,529 is a nod to MESP’s 529 plans. Funds can be used for tuition, books and more at any eligible U.S. college or university.
As for Lakshya? It sounds like her parents can be sure these savings will fund a bright future. “Behind that sweet smile and soft voice is a very strong-minded person,” dad adds. “That’s Lakshya! Beauty with brains.”