Last weekend, four students from Early College High School in Lenoir County teamed up to win the state championship in the North Carolina Council of Economic Education’s Personal Finance Challenge and qualify for the national competition.
A team of sophomores Spencer Jones, Marwan Alberdani, Montana Barrett and Sidney Jeffries won the state title at the NCCEE event at the Federal Reserve Building in Charlotte in just their second year of competition by Early College . Each student he received a $250 scholarship and was given the opportunity to earn more at the national convention.
“Throughout the competition, students had to focus on digging deeper and understanding not only the topic of financial literacy, but also how to integrate them into viable solutions for families. ‘ said Dr. Travis Towne. He teaches civic literacy, economics, and personal finance at Early He College and coaches teams.
As Spencer Jones put it simply, “It was fun, but a little stressful.”
Students were given 48 hours to prepare a financial plan for a fictitious family scenario and were required to work on a variety of financial topics including budgeting, savings and investments, debt, taxes, and banking. Once students arrived in Charlotte, the competition began with a financial literacy test. Students were then required to present their financial plans in front of a panel of judges who were scored on content knowledge, teamwork, presentation skills, and various creative aspects.
The combination of these scores determined the two teams participating in the final Quiz Bowl round. In this round, I was crowned state champion by answering financial literacy questions.
The US National Championships June 4-5 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Ohio will follow essentially the same format.
All of the Early College team members confessed to feeling nervous leading up to the competition, but expressed satisfaction that they overcame their nerves and not only won, but enjoyed the competition.
“I was nervous when I started this competition. It was disorganized at first, but I overcame all the obstacles between stress and tension,” said Marwan Albadani. Through it all, I learned to organize, to give each person a job, and to stay calm under pressure.
Sidney Jeffries found the competition to be “very nerve-wracking”, but there was a reward. I would like to enjoy the national tournament as well.”
For Montana Barrett, “Once I started presenting and became more confident, the tension went away. Win or lose, it was a great experience.”
Having had the opportunity to observe the students’ behavior, Towne said he was struck by the maturity of the students and their willingness to take on challenges to overcome the obstacles they faced throughout the competition.
“I cannot express how proud I am of my students.I am thrilled to see how much their financial literacy knowledge has grown over the past year,” he said. . “These are skills that many adults either have not mastered throughout their lives or acquired them later. By learning these economic principles now and how to implement them in your own life, , these students will have access to so many opportunities in their journey.
Since 1970, NCCEE has been a sponsor of financial education for K-12 educators and students in North Carolina, providing financial support statewide.
Companies and individuals interested in sponsoring an early college team in Cleveland’s pursuit of a national title should contact Dr. Travis Towne of Lenoir County Early College High School at email@example.com.