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Announcing the 2023 Project Teen Money winner

Cooper Smith from East High School, Madison, wins a $3,000 continuing education scholarship. All 10 finalists receive at least $500 continuing education scholarships. 

MADISON, Wisc. – The votes are in. Cooper Smith from Madison’s East High School is this year’s Summit Credit Union Project Teen Money winner.

Summit Credit Union’s Project Teen Money is a unique challenge to help young adults achieve financial success – not just the participants, but also their friends and families who viewed their videos. 10 students from Madison’s East, La Follette, Memorial and West high schools were selected as finalists to compete for top scholarships. 

This year, the applicants submitted a short video addressing this question: What are three tips you’d give to other teens to help them protect their money from scams? 

The winning advice from Cooper was to change your passwords frequently and make sure they are strong and complex, don’t share sensitive or personal information over email or the phone, and always call your financial institution to verify they are contacting you. You can watch it here

“Congratulations to Cooper and all the Project Teen Money finalists,” said Summit Credit Union CEO and President, Kim Sponem. “What I love about this program is that teens are teaching teens about financial wellness. There was a lot of great advice, all presented in creative ways. Hopefully, everyone who watched these videos learned some tips to keep their finances safer.” 


Using points-based scoring criteria, 10 finalists were chosen and featured on the Summit Credit Union Project Teen Money web page. Then the public voted for their favorite. All 10 will now receive scholarship money with $3,000 going to the winner, $2,000 to second place, and $1,000 to third. Fourth and fifth placed will receive $750 and all remaining runners-up will receive $500. 

This program is one of many ways Summit Credit Union champions financial wellness. 


Established in 1935, Summit Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative. Summit holds $6.4 billion in assets and has more than 240,000 members and 945 employees across 55 locations throughout south-central and southeastern Wisconsin. Since 2002, Kim Sponem has been CEO & President of Summit Credit Union, formerly known as CUNA Credit Union/Great Wisconsin Credit Union.

Recognized for its excellence in employee engagement, Summit was named a Top Workplace in the USA in 2021, 2022 and 2023 by Top Workplaces USA and a Top Workplace in the Madison area for 2021, 2022 and 2023 by the Wisconsin State Journal.