What is the iOme (I Owe Me) Challenge?

The iOme (I OWE ME) Challenge is a national student competition that encourages students to analyze the current state of retirement policy in the U.S. and propose viable policy solutions to meet the needs of their generation.

How does it do that? 

Each year, student teams from across the U.S. respond to the annual iOme Challenge question in an essay of up to 5,000-words. A panel of judges reads the submissions and selects the winning team. The winning team shares a cash prize of $5,000 and an invitation to Washington, DC to present their submission at a symposium and discuss it with public policymakers.

The iOme Challenge engages younger generations in the process of finding solutions to the financial and retirement challenges facing all generations. Each year, the project aims to involve more students in order to promote this important intergenerational dialogue.

Congratulations to the 2021-2022 Winning Team!

Mary Claire Basso-Luca
Jazlyn Benitez
Peter Fortescue
Rachael Freeman
Rachael Freeman
Kiya Rodriguez

The St. Mary's College of Maryland (SMCM) Team

Mary Claire Basso-Luca of Olney, MD is a Senior with a major in Psychology and a minor in French. She is the Vice President of the Catholic Seahawks Club and a member of the Psi Chi honor society. In her free time, she likes to knit and to read!
Jazlyn Benitez of Silver Spring, Maryland is a Senior pursuing a double major in Economics and Environmental Studies. She is an Alpha Chi Omega Student-Athlete and Captain of the SMCM Women’s swim team. She is passionate about pursuing a career advancing environmentally resilient practices in the business sector. 
Peter Fortescue is a Senior and Economics Major. He is a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon International Economics Honor Society. He is a United States Coast Guard Veteran.
Rachael Freeman of Baltimore, Maryland is a Junior pursuing a double major in Economics and Public Policy with a minor in Business Management. Rachael is a member of the Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics Honor Society and a member of the Women’s Lacrosse team. Rachael hopes to pursue law school after graduating.
Kiya Rodriguez is a 2022 graduate, with a B.A. in Economics. She is planning a career in the field of data analysis.

Read the team’s winning essay here.

Runners Up

Honorable Mention goes to Abrielle Mannino and Jack Lunden of Rollins College, who submitted a paper entitled: Saving Old Age Insurance: Reforming Retirement Security in the United States for the Future. The Rollins College faculty advisor was Dr. Donald Davison.

St. Mary’s College of Maryland Faculty Advisors

Josh Kaisen, Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics
Jennifer J. Tickle, Associate Professor of Psychology