Knowledge and Insights

Mercadien Foundation’s Money$peak program begins 2nd year in Mercer County Schools

September 2015

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After a successful inaugural year, The Mercadien Foundation, in collaboration with several community partners, moves the Money$peak competition for Mercer County students into its second year. It will be available in area high schools and youth organizations countywide this fall and spring.

The Money$peak program was developed with feedback from educators, school administrators, students, and community leaders in response to the need for better financial education. It is designed to enhance the half-year personal finance curriculum, required since 2010 to graduate from high school in New Jersey, through fun, technologically-progressive competition. Ninety-two percent of those surveyed by The Mercadien Foundation in 2014 agreed that education about personal finance and entrepreneurship is helpful for students, whether they’re going on to post-secondary schooling or entering the workplace, making them far more likely to succeed, save money, and make better financial decisions.

The program encourages small teams of students to create innovative presentations on financial literacy topics and compete on a regional level at Rider University for prizes and bragging rights. All students who are currently enrolled in or have already taken the personal finance curriculum are eligible to join a team of up to three fellow students to create a presentation on one of ten topics in personal finance. Presentations may take any form, including video, song, comedy routine, or other multimedia presentation that teaches the chosen concept in three-to-five minutes.

Each high school will hold the first level of competition among its own students; the winning team will represent its school in the countywide competition taking place at Rider University in June of 2016. Visit for more information about the first event and the student and school winners in June 2015 and to get involved this year.

 “While the personal finance curriculum standards began to change the conversation surrounding financial literacy education, students continue to need information that relates to their lives and to be able to connect to it in their own language,” said Christopher Seiz, executive director of The Mercadien Foundation. “We are pleased to lead efforts and provide solutions that improve students’ financial literacy and capability, meet the needs of educators and administrators, and benefit the Mercer County and wider community.“

The Mercadien Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to create philanthropic and innovative programs to benefit the Mercer County community and New Jersey.