Princeton, NJ – High school students in central New Jersey will participate in an expanded, second annual Money$peak competition on June 1 at 6:00 p.m. in Rider University’s Bart Luedeke Auditorium. The Mercadien Foundation sponsors the event – with support from The Mercadien Group, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, Rider University, the TD Charitable Foundation, and Fulton Bank – to bring central New Jersey schools an exciting addition to their personal finance course offerings.
The Money$peak program encourages small teams of students to get more engaged in their personal finance course curriculum and challenges them to create innovative presentations and compete against other teams for prizes and regional recognition. High schools that send winning teams to the competition receive grants to support financial education in the classroom.
All students currently enrolled in or who have already taken a personal finance course are eligible to join a team at their school to create a presentation on one of ten topics of personal finance. After preliminary, in-school competitions, one competing team from each school moves to the regional competition on June 1st at Rider University. Presentations can take many forms and will be judged using an inclusive rubric during the competition.
The Mercadien Foundation used comprehensive research to determine areas of greatest need in personal financial education and developed the program in conversation with educators and administrators to insure a meaningful program expansion into surrounding counties. The program was developed in response to feedback from educators, school administrators, students, and community leaders, and after a highly successful first year, the competition has expanded.
Personal financial education isn’t new, but since 2014, all high schoolers graduating from New Jersey public schools have had to fulfill a required half-year course in personal finance, as mandated by the New Jersey Department of Education.
92% of those surveyed by The Mercadien Foundation in 2014, including teachers and school administration, agreed that the 21st Century Life and Career Standards curriculum, the requirements including personal finance and entrepreneurship, are helpful for students whether they’re going on to post-secondary schooling or immediately entering the workplace. With a solid grasp on their own personal finance, high school graduates are far more likely to succeed, save, and make better decisions related to money. The Money$peak competition is focused on bringing additional emphasis to the personal finance curriculum in place and bring visibility to personal finance education within the wider community.
Christopher Seiz, Executive Director of The Mercadien Foundation, stated, “With the successful first year for the Money$peak competition in Mercer County Schools, we’re very pleased to expand into surrounding counties to create a regional Money$peak competition in 2016. Curriculum standard 9.2 began to change the conversation surrounding personal finance education, and students continue to need information that relates directly to their lives in order to connect to these tools in their own language. With the support of our sponsors, we’re pleased to lead efforts and provide solutions that improve students’ financial literacy and capability, meet the needs of educators and administrators, and benefit Central New Jersey.“
For more information, visit www.moneyspeak.org. 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.
The Mercadien Group is a family of distinct companies created to serve the diverse and sophisticated needs of clients in a capacity far greater than any single organization can offer. The group is comprised of entities that provide accounting, auditing, tax planning and compliance, management consulting, technology and wealth management services.