Alexa Rose Yeo from Goderich has been crowned as the top finalist in the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) The National Virtual Money Fair.
Eleven-year-old Yeo, also known as The Hometown Harpist, was moved into the final selection group on April 12, beating out hundreds of entries from young students ranging in age from nine to 14 years old from across the country.
Competing in a final live/virtual setting on April 14, Yeo was crowned the champion of the seven finalists and was awarded $2,000.
“I was so nervous, it was like I couldn’t even sit down and I was also very excited because even if I didn’t win I was vey proud of myself that I got to the top seven,” said Yeo.
Sponsored by Scotiabank, the contest involves students, either learning at home or in the classroom, selecting a money topic that is of interest to them, undertaking research to explore and learn about that topic, and then preparing a creative and engaging video presentation that showcases the outcome of their research and what they learned.
According to Yeo, her video set out to answer the question: “How can I, a kid, use my talents to earn money to not only buy a $12,000 new harp but to help support local charities?”
In her video, she set out to explore the financial investments involved in starting her own business, the cost of being a musician and the ways she can use her talents to earn money to buy a new harp and to fundraise for charities.
“Even though it was virtual and we were all separate we were still all together and all of the phone calls and all of the joy that came afterwards was somewhat overwhelming,” said Crystal Brennen Yeo, Alexa’s mother.
As for the money, Yeo says she will probably put it into her bank account, adding to the $1,300 she has recently earned since starting her business as she saves up to purchase a new harp.
But the monetary prizes were only a portion of the takeaway as Yeo said she did learn some valuable life lessons from entering into the contest.
“What really surprised me was, of course, how much my parents had spent on me already because it was over $5,000, which is crazy,” said Yeo. “But, also, in order for me to make $12,000 to buy my harp, I would have to do 109 local gigs.”
She continued: “When I was talking to my other music teachers they were all saying that in order to be able to pay the bills you have to have a second job other than being a musician. This surprised me a lot because I thought when I look at these big pop stars I think they must make a lot of money, but I realize it is so hard to be a musician in a small town and make a living out of it.”
Despite learning it might not make her a lot of money in a small town, Yeo said she is still going to dedicate her time to making music because it is something she is passionate about and loves doing.
Yeo’s video can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUY9WzqStTE&t=81s.
By: Daniel Caudle
Apr 15, 2021