Learner’s CEEE helps teach personal finance

High school students from all three Delaware counties were recently represented at the Delaware Personal Finance Challenge (PFC) State Championships in Newark. they were invited by University of Delaware‘s Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship (CEEE) in Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, the event was sponsored bank of america, This year’s PFC was the first in-person competition organized by CEEE since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Nine teams from eight schools competed for the chance to win $500 per team member and teacher, and a chance to qualify for the national championship and an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City.

High schools that participate in PFC include St. Mark’s, Middletown, Odessa, two teams from Odyssey Charter, Smyrna, Newark Charter, Woodbridge and Apoquinimink. Each team consisted of four members. The challenge consisted of the first two rounds of testing students individually and three rounds of testing exercises collaboratively as a team for the third. Points for each round were calculated and a leaderboard updated on the results throughout the day. Between tests, Bank of America volunteers gave fun gifts during a trivia contest while scores were being tabulated. The students on each team who scored the most points during each of the first two rounds of testing were given the opportunity to select from a wall of cash envelopes, which were filled with monetary prizes, ranging from $5 to $20. was.

“PFC provides high school students with a fun, competitive experience in which they can build, demonstrate and be rewarded for their knowledge of prudent money management skills,” said Gail Colbert, CEEE personal finance coordinator. “Teams enjoy showcasing their expertise in the concepts of earning, spending, saving, investing, managing debt, and managing risk.”

Colbert said providing attractive opportunities to reinforce this learning makes it easier for teachers to implement personal finance education to meet Delaware’s financial literacy standards.

A group of students from the Personal Finance Club at the Newark Charter scored the most points after three rounds of challenges, also beating St. Mark’s High School students during the Quiz Bowl—a rapid-fire, battle of questions where the top two meet each other. Scoring teams square off in exciting, highly competitive buzzer rounds.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to come out and show how much they’ve learned from such a practical classroom,” said Justin Miller, a personal finance teacher at Newark Charter.

“I’ve stopped teachers in the hallway and said, ‘Oh my god. I wish I had this class when I was in high school,'” Miller said. CEEE-writers follow the curriculum – that’s what made it so popular. They learn about credit, balancing checkbooks, planning for retirement, investing in the stock market and insurance.

“It is great to see that students have the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned. Then to win some money – that is even better,” he said.

Each Delaware school in which personal finance is taught, students are invited to compete in an online preliminary round to qualify for the state finals. Topics covered include lessons from the CEEE’s Key to Financial Success course, which includes personal finance topics such as earning and income, security and insurance, using credit when buying goods and services, and savings and financial investing.

Bank of America, which has sponsored the contest for over a decade and since its inception, again provided volunteers for the event who acted as proctors and judges.

“At Bank of America, we have a single objective and that is to make financial lives better. And that’s why we believe so strongly in this work, the Economic Education and Entrepreneurship Center to teach our youth about personal finance and economics. to provide students with a great foundation for their financial future,” said Connie Montana, community relations manager and senior vice president at Bank of America. Montana led to a thunderous applause for the teachers and thanked them for taking the time to prepare the students and get them on the program.

Montana said, “Congratulations to each and every team and each of you for being here.” “You’re already investing in yourself. You’re already ahead of the game. So many students in our country don’t get personal finance or economic education.”

Noah Kasim participated as a member of the state champion Newark Charter School team. A junior at school, he and his friends rehearsed for the event together and coordinated their matching wardrobes of pink shirts to go with their slacks and ties.

“Last night we were chatting amongst ourselves, and we wanted something subtle, something a little classy; something that would really stand out in front of the crowd,” said Kasim. “We already knew That we will come here and dominate, but we wanted to finalize the picture.”

If winning wasn’t impressive enough already, Alex Esenian, who served as spokesman for the Newark charter team during the Quiz Bowl, shared that he’s going to Georgetown University to continue his business studies and He already has a ROTH IRA as a high school senior. Taking the matter further, he and his friends plan to invest the $500 they won individually rather than spend it.

“When we started preparing for this competition, we all knew personal finance was important, but we didn’t know as much as we do now,” Essen said. “So, the things that we learned in the competition, we are now able to take and apply in our world in a way, focusing on getting better to make sure we are financially free or independent. “

Students at St. Mark’s High School finished second and each team member received a $250 cash prize. Will Simpson, his personal finance teacher, has competed in the event in five years now, claiming the championship once and finishing second twice. He said that his students are always eager to compete in PFC.

“For them, money is really important, but I’ve heard them say things like, ‘I know how to be an adult.’ It’s a great testimony; they love it. They love to be here,” Simpson said.

A group of sophomores from Woodbridge High School in Greenwood asked their teacher to drive them an hour and a half from Kent to New Castle County for the competition. Students begin taking Josh Gatka’s personal finance class in September and learn a lot of new information on Social Security taxes, investments, interest rates and similar topics that were previously unclear to them.

Getka said the area where he teaches reports high poverty rates and is home to many people who are learning to speak English as a second language. They are preyed upon by payday loan agencies and predatory student loan practices. They don’t have the financial literacy to deal with it. Empowering themselves with personal finance knowledge and skills provides them with options and ways to avoid these situations in the future.

Getka said he hopes a personal finance class will one day become a graduation requirement for every high school student in Delaware, but the state isn’t there yet. For him, he was delighted that 24 students had signed up to take his personal finance class, and many of them so eagerly wanted to compete at PFC.

“It is a proud moment to come here and see them. No matter how they perform today, I know they are better prepared for tomorrow,” said Getka.

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