Princeton, N.J.-based firm the Mercadien Group and its Mercadien Foundation hosted the fourth annual Money$peak Competition at Rider University last Wednesday at Rider’s Bart Luedeke Center.

Participating student teams were asked to present brief (three to five minute) presentations on topics from their required high school personal finance course and present it to a panel of judges from the finance industry. Teams of two to six students created slideshows, videos and songs to present their ideas to the judges and audience alike.

“With Money$peak, we’re helping to build a proactive generation of young adults who take charge of their financial future and excel in their chosen fields,” said Christopher Seiz, executive director of the Mercadien Foundation, in a statement.

Student teams from Bordentown Regional, Colts Neck, Hopewell Valley, Jackson Liberty, Lawrence, Montgomery, New Egypt, Rancocas Valley Regional, Seneca, Steinert, and West Windsor Plainsboro North high schools all competed in the finals, representing the best of approximately 80 teams and over 400 students who competed in qualifiers earlier this spring.

The New Jersey Department of Education recently enacted a new, half-year personal finance course requirement for New Jersey high school students. Money$peak allows students take what they've learned and create more innovative material.

“The Mercadien Foundation and the amazing sponsors have created an impressive event with the Money$peak program that allows students to apply the knowledge they've acquired throughout the year," stated Suzanne Brown, a teacher at Hopewell Valley Central High School. "It's special because it requires them to engage at a higher level to create powerful messages about personal finance issues to present to others. Money$peak is the perfect opportunity to encourage students to come out of their comfort zones and to master life skills such as time management, completing research, knowing your target audience, being confident and concise, and honing critical presentation skills. Money$peak is a win-win for everyone involved.”

The following student teams placed in the 2018 Money$peak Competition:

  • First Place: “MK Productions,” presenting on credit cards and debt, from West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North, advised by teacher Albert Paulsson. Team members: McKenna Carpenter and Kyra Musmanno. $1,500 team award, $1,000 school grant.
  • Second Place: “Team Scotties,” presenting on career and earnings, from Bordentown Regional High School, advised by teacher Kara Lynch. Team members: Thomas Hendrickson and Jaspreet Singh. $1,000 team award, $750 school grant.
  • Third Place: “RV FBLA,” presenting on career and earnings, from Rancocas Valley Regional High School, advised by teachers Carolee Gray. Team members: Kiah Champion, Grace Ann Clothier, and Harleen Gill. $500 team award, $500 school grant.
  • Honorable Mention: “Fresh Friends of Credit,” presenting on credit cards and debt, from Colts Neck High School, advised by teacher Robin Soriano. Team members: Alexandra Bell, Elizabeth Borao, Mandy Pelenski, Nicole Policastro, Jeremy Rund, and Zachary Schubert. $250 team award, $250 school grant.
  • Honorable Mention: “Conscious Credit Cast,” presenting on credit cards and debt, from Jackson Liberty High School, advised by teacher Arlene Wacha. Team members: Shannon Conroy, Ryan Drew, and Julianna Martin. $250 team award, $250 school grant.
2018 Money$peak participants on stage at Rider University.
2018 Money$peak participants on stage at Rider University. Mercadien Group

Student presentations will be available on the Money$peak website in a few weeks. For more on the event, head to its site here.

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