If I could talk to my High School Self, I’d tell her to do exactly three things: don’t sweat the small stuff, rethink the blue eyeshadow and — most importantly — learn to manage your money. Now.
While I ended up learning money management skills the hard way, H&R Block is working to ensure today’s high schoolers can get a head start on financial fitness. H&R Block Dollars and Sense was created to help high school students across the country learn practical, real-world financial skills before they’re even out of high school — and the program has awarded nearly $3 million in personal finance curriculum and scholarships to high schools and students since its inception in 2009.
Among the most innovative and engaging components of Dollars & Sense is the National Challenge, a face-off of financial wits between students from high schools across the U.S. and Canada. Battling for more than $55,000 in college scholarships from H&R Block, competitors are tasked with navigating an avatar through multiple financial situations to accumulate virtual wealth. This year, more than 3,600 teams competed online in the simulation challenge to earn one of the coveted 16 spots in the live National Challenge Finals, which took place in Salt Lake City earlier this week.
In the end, Mary Davidson, Juan Castillo and Amanda Pita from Southwest Miami High School each earned a $10,000 scholarship for their first place win, accumulating more than $98,000 of virtual wealth in the final round of the competition. Second place went to fellow Southwest Miami students Alex Sanchez, Sergio Salazar and Tristan Coll, who each took home a $5,000 scholarship. An additional $8,000 in scholarships was awarded to the third and fourth place teams.
To execute the national challenge, H&R Block partnered with DECA and Knowledge Matters, two leaders in the education field. For more information about the program, visit www.hrblockdollarsandsense.com or www.facebook.com/hrbds.