NGPF Fellows: Personal Finance Student of the Year Award 2019-2020, Edition 9

Jul 28, 2020
NGPF Fellows, Financial Literacy

Each year, NGPF Fellows have the option to award a Personal Finance Student of the Year Award' to a student who has demonstrated outstanding contributions in their personal finance class during the school year. We'll showcase one student each Wednesday, Thursday and Friday right here on the blog throughout the coming summer weeks. Except this week, we are wrapping up with a TREAT - not one, but two winners in the same school! Shout out to NGPF Fellow, Amy McCabe for matching NGPF's funding for this award and creating another award for her students! You're such an inspiration, Amy!


Students are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Student has taken a personal finance class in the 2019-2020 school year that was taught by the NGPF Fellow who nominated them
  • Student demonstrated outstanding performance in the class based on participation/academic excellence/passion for the subject matter


Congratulations this Friday go to TWO special students:

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Student 1: Donald Beaver:

Student 2: Jillian Sasso

Teacher: Amy McCabe

School: Culpeper County High School (Culpeper, VA)

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“A personal finance class has many important values you should learn before you graduate high school and transition into the real world.  The most important value of this class is being able to differentiate between the positives and negatives of each financial decision you are faced with.  Without these skills you could be stuck in a never ending cycle of debt coming from loans which seem good, such as payday loans, but are designed to make sure the loan company makes a lot more money whenever you pay them back.  Without this vital knowledge many people would be left stranded.  With the knowledge I gained in my class I can avoid payday loans and know to save emergency money so I will not be forced to take out a loan. 

One action that I took based on the knowledge I gained in this class is getting a job.  I was able to successfully complete an informal job interview at State Climb, where I talked to the boss and was then offered a job.  The mock interviews and resumés we had to complete in my personal finance class helped prepare me for this interview. Due to the formality of the interviews at school, the actual interview seemed less stressful.  That is how I have already started to implement strategies and ideas from this class and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.”

-Donald Beaver

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“Econ and Personal Finance is a practical and beneficial class that teaches students how to make financially sound decisions. The class, which includes topics such as stocks, investing, and budgeting, provides students with a solid foundation in preparing for future financial endeavors. Within each unit, students are able to learn new methods for securing the means necessary to lead a successful financial life as an adult. As a result of Econ and Personal Finance, students are better equipped with valuable financial skills as they enter adulthood and become financially independent.

After completing EPF in my junior year, I implemented some of the monetary practices that I learned from the class in my senior year. Starting with a small sum of money, I began my financial journey by opening a checking account and purchasing my first car. Through this account, I obtained a debit card and used it for personal expenses such as gas and food. I regularly monitor my checking account and balance my checkbook, which are skills I learned from my EPF class.

As I will be attending college in the fall, I realize the value of Econ and Personal Finance, and I plan to use the skills I learned from it to apply for student loans and manage my personal costs. Though financial decisions have heavier consequences as an adult, I feel better prepared to manage those decisions, and I will continue to use the skills I learned from EPF to lead a successful, financially stable adult life.”

-Jillian Sasso

About the Author

Yanely Espinal

Born and raised by Dominican, immigrant parents in Brooklyn, Yanely is a proud product of NYC public schools. She graduated from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School in 2007 before going on to receive her bachelor's degree at Brown University in 2011. As a Teach For America corps member, Yanely taught third and fourth grade in Canarsie, Brooklyn. She received her master's degree from Relay Graduate School of Education in 2013. She spends her spare time making YouTube videos about personal finance on her channel, MissBeHelpful. Yanely also loves to dance, sew, paint, listen to podcasts, and babysit her soon-to-be 7 nieces and nephews!