Knowledge and Insights

Money$peak Supports Financial Education in Mercer County, NJ

May 2015

Money $peak

Princeton, NJ – High school students in Mercer County, New Jersey will participate in a new competition on June 3rd at 6:00 p.m. in the Bart Luedeke Auditorium at Rider University. The Mercadien Foundation has partnered with supporters – New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, Rider University, the TD Charitable Foundation, First Choice Bank, and Fulton Bank – to bring Mercer County schools an exciting addition to their personal finance course offerings. The program, Money$peak, encourages small teams of students to get more engaged with their personal finance course and challenges students to create innovative presentations to compete against other high school teams for prizes and county-wide recognition.

The program was developed in response to feedback from educators, school administrators, students, and community leaders. The Mercadien Foundation used in-depth research to determine the areas of greatest need in personal financial education and developed the program in conjunction with school and community leaders for a meaningful program.

All students currently enrolled in or that have already taken a personal finance course are eligible to join a team to create a competing presentation on one of ten topics of personal finance. Presentations will take many forms and are judged using an inclusive rubric during the competition. After preliminary in-school competitions, one competing team from each high school is moving to the county-wide competition on June 3rd at Rider University.

Personal financial education isn’t new, but since 2010, the requirements have changed for high schoolers graduating from New Jersey public schools. Now, in order to graduate, a required half-year course in personal finance must be taken, as mandated by the New Jersey Department of Education.

92% of those surveyed by The Mercadien Foundation, including teachers and school administration, agreed that the 21st Century Life and Career Standards, the curriculum requirements including personal finance, 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, “While the financial curriculum standards began to change the conversation surrounding personal finance education, students continue to need information that relates to their lives and is presented in their own language. 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 Mercer County.”

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 companies created to serve the diverse and sophisticated needs of clients in a capacity greater than any single organization can offer. Comprised of six distinct entities and over 120 employees, the firm provides accounting, auditing, tax planning and compliance, management consulting, technology, wealth management, outsourcing, and investment banking services. A team of trusted advisors working together in one place, The Mercadien Group shares a broad knowledge base and creates seamless solutions that meet clients’ personal and business objectives.