Jun 14, 2021
NGPF Fellows

NGPF Fellows: Personal Finance Student of the Year Award 2020-2021, Part 1

Each year, NGPF Fellows can award an "NGPF Personal Finance Student of the Year" scholarship to a student who has demonstrated outstanding contributions in their personal finance class.  This week we're kicking things off with 3 winners who describe the value of a personal finance course and its impact on their lives. We'll continue to showcase new winners each week right here on the blog throughout the coming summer weeks!

Students are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Student has taken a personal finance class in the 2020-2021 school year that was taught by the NGPF Fellow who nominated them
  • Student demonstrated outstanding performance or improvement in the class based on participation/academic excellence/passion for the subject matter

Congratulations this week go out to:


Student: Thomas Currier

Teacher: Jacqueline Prester

School: Mansfield High School, Mansfield, MA

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“The value of a personal finance class is more than initially meets the eye. Before taking personal finance, I didn’t know much about anything that we learned while in class. The class gave me a true advantage in life. It's an early pathway to the real world, and what it entails. It allows students to be prepared for the future, and it gives students the possibility of being prepared prior to being an adult, which their parents most likely weren’t granted the same opportunity while they were in school. I learned so much in this class which I probably would have learned through trial and error otherwise, just as numerous others who hadn’t taken this class have done before me. I learned things that ranged from student debt and college preparation to paying bills and doing taxes, and so much more. After taking personal finance, I have gotten a debit card, I’m working towards getting a job, and I’ve been looking deeper into my future possibilities, especially the possibility of college. I hope to do more with the knowledge I gained from this class soon, but I know that in the long run I will be able to apply what I’ve learned, so I’m relieved to know it was worth it. So overall, the value of personal finance to me is beyond bigger than I could’ve ever thought."

-Thomas Currier  



Student: Sophia Posada

Teacher: Adam Cole

School: Needham High School, Needham, MA

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“The personal finance class put many topics and common real world terms we’ve heard from our parents, tv, or social media into context for people my age. Topics such as banking, investing, mortgages, tuition, credit scores, insurance, and resumes seemed like boring things we hear our parents mention in passing or worry or lecture about. To have an understanding about how personal finance does actually affect me, what it is, how it works, how we can manage this very important aspect of life is very liberating and empowering. Taking this class combined with getting my drivers license makes me feel ready for an exciting future as I enter adulthood. I feel I can intelligently contribute to financial conversations with my parents when it applies to me, and I no longer dread dealing with financial issues because I now have a better grasp of them.

In my personal finance class, we learned how to create a resume which I then used to apply online for a retail part time job. During my interview, I used my elevator pitch technique to talk about myself to the job recruiter. Once I was hired, I opened up my own checking account, learned how to use a debit card, and was able to read my paycheck stub. Everything we learned about car insurance in my personal finance class now makes sense when I read my portion of my parents' policy. As I research colleges, items like tuition, room and board, private vs state costs, are helping me make better considerations. There are still many other topics we covered in my personal finance class, many which will come in handy in the near future. The NGPF games and  simulations, flipgrids, class discussions and hands-on learning activities were interesting, fun, engaging, and beneficial.”

-Sophia Posada



Student: Madison Lonergan

Teacher: Joy Tavano

School: North Kingstown High School, North Kingstown, RI

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“In the fall of 2020, I took Consumer Math, my first personal finance class. My first impression of the class was that this was my senior math class and it's going to be a lot different from my past math courses. I expected the class to be difficult but I found the work engaging. This class taught me about developing good personal finance habits and using resources available to help with my personal finances. The value of a personal finance class is that it's important to teach young people about how to manage their finances. For example, many teens have jobs and Consumer Math teaches them how to save money from their paycheck as well as what all the deductions on the paystub mean. For me, I plan to use the information I learned in Consumer Math to eventually buy a car. What I learned about monthly car payments and car insurance will be very useful to me when I buy and own a car. Lastly, what I learned about budgeting and setting up a monthly budget is something I plan on using in the future. My experience in my personal finance class has left me more ready for the real world and to eventually live on my own independently. I feel I am much more prepared to successfully manage my money. The Consumer Math class helped me have a better understanding on how successful personal finance works.”

-Madison Lonergan



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!

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