San Francisco twins, 11, win OneUnited’s I Got Bank Youth Essay and Art contest

by Suzan McDowell

As the largest Black-owned bank in America, OneUnited Bank takes educating our youth about making and keeping money very seriously.

Ziontaye-Ball-and-Dontaye-Ball-Jr-web-225x300, San Francisco twins, 11, win OneUnited’s I Got Bank Youth Essay and Art contest, Local News & Views
Ziontaye Ball and Dontaye Ball Jr.

So seriously in fact that alongside our community partner BMe, for the eighth year we have given away $1,000 in savings accounts to 10 lucky kids who read any financial literacy book as inspiration for an essay or work of art. Children ages 8-12 were encouraged to participate in this exciting competition by submitting a 250-word essay that demonstrated an everyday understanding of how money and “the financial system” works.

The 2018 winners have been announced and San Francisco twins Dontaye Ball Jr. and Ziontaye Ball, 11, are among the national winners. Please join us in congratulating them!

Black America is experiencing a joyous awakening. Since the “Black Panther” movie was released, Black children have enjoyed the thrill of having their own heroes and heroines who personify strength, intellect and excellence.

More than ever, our community is turning within to seek answers to questions of how to progress in this exciting new cultural reality, especially about money. OneUnited is doing its part to ensure children in the Black community are prepared to understand money.

Teri Williams, president and owner of OneUnited Bank, penned a children’s book, “I GOT BANK: What my Granddad taught me about money,” which inspired the national contest.

Never in our history has educating our kids about money been more necessary. The ninth annual I Got Bank Youth Essay and Art contest will be announced in Spring 2019. Stay tuned to to find out more information.

Suzan McDowell, ambassador for OneUnited Bank, can be reached at