Nebraska Council on Economic Education Personal Finance Challenge

A team from the Millard Academy of Entrepreneurship at Millard South High School won first place today in the Nebraska Personal Finance Challenge, sponsored by the Nebraska Council on Economic Education.

The team members are Meghan Schuette, Ben Blumenthal, Ryan Nyffeler, and Ryan Mack. Their advisor is Seth Woodke. Each member of the team will each receive a $2,000 contribution to a Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST 529) college savings account. The team’s advisor will receive an Apple iPad tablet.

The team advances to the National Personal Finance Challenge to be May 11 at the College of Business at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Second place went to a team from Keya Paha County High School. Team members, who each will receive a $1,000 contribution to a NEST 529 college savings account, are Kristine Cronk, Kylin Munger, George Cook, and Ashley Connell. Their advisors are Alana Cardinal and Danielle Thorton.

Third place went to a team from Lincoln Southeast High School, made up of Kyle Krueger, Calvin Kyker, Khiana Blizek, and Grant Roscoe. Each team member received a $500 contribution to a NEST 529 college savings account. Their advisor is Lindsay Tillinghast.

Jennifer Davidson, president of the Nebraska Council on Economic Education, said she was pleased with the participation in this year’s competition and the excitement generated by the fact that the national competition will take place in Lincoln this year. In past years, the national competition has been in Kansas City or St. Louis.

“The Personal Finance Challenge is an excellent way for students to demonstrate their financial knowledge and skills to solve real-life problems facing families today. Students have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in financial literacy and economic courses, to think on their feet, and to practice leadership and speaking skills,” said Treasurer Stenberg, Trustee of NEST.

“As Trustee of NEST, I want to congratulate these students. I am happy to present each of them with a contribution to a NEST college savings account to be used at a four-year college, a community college, or a technical school,” he said.

Stenberg also praised the teachers for encouraging their students to study important life-skill subjects like personal finance and economics. He thanked the teachers for helping their students prepare for the competition. The advisors of the three winning teams will each receive an iPad tablet, courtesy of NEST.

Davidson said each team at the regional competition – which took place Friday in Lincoln, Omaha, and Kearney – was given a hypothetical family scenario and two hours to come up with a financial plan based on the family’s goals. Students presented their plans to panels of judges.

A first-place winner was chosen at each of the three regional sites, and each first-place team’s composite online test score was used to determine first-, second-, and third-place winners statewide. The online tests were administered earlier at the schools.

A total of 281 teams took part in the High School division of the spring Personal Finance Challenge, and the top five finalists in each region were invited to the regional competition held Friday.