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Mustang High School Student Earns National Financial Literacy Scholarship

Mustang High School Student Earns National Financial Literacy Scholarship

(Mustang, Oklahoma – January 14, 2020) – A common assignment given in schools for years has been to write a letter to your future self.  Vivian Hua, a senior at Mustang High School, never dreamed that such a letter could be so valuable, as hers has earned her one of ten $5,000 scholarships from Next Gen Personal Finance.  

In 2011, Tim Ranzetta volunteered to teach a personal finance course to high schoolers in East Palo Alto, California and spent countless hours searching for resources and cobbling together his curriculum. Three years later in 2014, Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF) was born with a mission to revolutionize the teaching of personal finance in all schools in order to improve the financial lives of the next generation of Americans.

As part of their mission, in 2018, the organization began the PAYBACK Challenge to help start the conversation between teens and their parents about student loan debt and paying for college.  The contest centers around Next Gen Personal Finance’s online paying-for-college game, “Payback,” which helps students understand the different paths they could take when it comes to financing their education.  While the gameplay and subsequent discussion are technically intended to take place in the classroom, the process can provide students with the tools necessary to bring up the topic with their parents at home as well.

In this, the competition’s third year, over 900 students from all across the United States submitted essays earlier last fall. After playing the award-winning college finance game, students wrote a 250-word essay answering one of these questions:
Write a letter to your future self that you will open after your freshman year of college, reminding you of the key skills you will need to thrive during your college years. OR How could you use the online game, PAYBACK, to have a conversation with your parent/guardian about paying for college?

With her essay focusing on the keys of Saving and Happiness, Hua was awarded one of ten National Grand Prizes on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.  The winners of the $5,000 to be used for educational purposes are:  

  • Abigail Stackle of Trinity High School (Camp Hill, Pennsylvania)

  • Ali Hussein of Winooski High School (Winooski, Vermont)

  • Asher Spain of James I O'Neill High School (Highland Falls, New York)

  • Chloe Malagar of Cousino Senior High School (Warren, Michigan)

  • Kathleen Hutchinson of Deer Isle - Stonington High School (Deer Isle, Maine)

  • Leslie Henriquez of Central Falls High School (Central Falls, Rhode Island)

  • Marcus Bolton of Interlake High School (Bellevue, Washington)

  • Ty'Rianna Washington of Rapides High School (Lecompte, Louisiana)

  • Virginia Girling of Jackson Hole High School (Jackson Hole, Wyoming)

  • Vivian Hua of Mustang High School (Mustang, Oklahoma)

“Over 200,000 students played PAYBACK during the contest period,” noted NGPF Co-Founder, Tim Ranzetta. “It was great to see the impact this game had on students’ attitudes and actions as they decide on their educational path after high school. Thanks to the educators who brought PAYBACK to their classrooms and facilitated the amazing conversations that followed. With student debt at record levels, these conversations are more critical than ever."

About Next Gen Personal Finance 

Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF), has become the "one-stop shop" for more than 25,000 financial educators looking for high-quality, engaging curriculum to equip students with the financial skills they need to thrive in their future. NGPF now reaches over sixty five percent (65%) of U.S. high school students who attend a school where a teacher is using their curriculum. NGPF has been recognized by Common Sense Education as a “Top Website for Teachers to Find Lesson Plans.”  For information visit, https://www.ngpf.org/
PAYBACK received a Webby Award for best Social Impact game and best Educational Game and was featured in the New York Times. It is a free game available at www.timeforpayback.com

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