Jun 28, 2021
NGPF Fellows

NGPF Fellows: Personal Finance Student of the Year Award 2020-2021, Part 2

At NGPF, we have an incredible group of Fellows who are able to offer an "NPGF Personal Finance Student of the Year" award annually during their teaching tenure.

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

This week we're showcasing new winners and will continue to do so each week right here on the blog throughout the coming summer weeks!


Congratulations this week go out to:


Student: Jaden Deal

Teacher: Amy McCabe

School: Culpeper County High School, Culpeper, VA


- - - - - 

“Financial literacy has value beyond monetary concepts as its insight teach one about how they may take a more active role in the operation of their economic life. Moreover, personal finance classes have provided myself with the insight that is needed to conduct myself in this interconnected, economic world, instructing me on the principles and practices of stock exchange, banking institutions, saving, credit, and a plethora of other real life problems and systems that will play a greater role in my near future. However, the value of this knowledge not only sits on my shoulders, but the shoulders of future generations. With this economic awareness, we are able to pass this knowledge to those who come after us to create a more economically and financially aware population. As a result, I have taken the time to study various institutions while also inquiring how I may set a standard for my future self. Not to mention, it is best to start now as this class has greatly emphasized the time value of money. To simply state, this knowledge is and will continue to help many understand and adapt to our ever changing economy for the sake of our and their own futures.."

-Jaden Deal



Student: Emma Wilt

Teacher: Amy McCabe

School: Culpeper County High School, Culpeper, VA

- - - - - 

“Personal finance teaches the invaluable skills of financial literacy. The class helps students make wise financial decisions with their money and sets them up for success as it leads them towards financial freedom. With the knowledge of personal finance, students can learn how to live comfortable, independent lives. After taking personal finance, I have read more books about personal finance, started building my emergency savings, created budgets, prepared for retirement, and made the best college decision based on the best value and return I would receive. Reading personal finance books has expanded my knowledge of different topics, such as investing, budgeting, and risk analysis, and has inspired me to become successful. Then, I started growing my emergency fund by contributing a percentage of my income from my job to the fund every two weeks. Additionally, I began budgeting, which keeps me organized and helps me understand how much I need to allocate towards my spending each month. I also am becoming more prepared for retirement by understanding how to invest and open brokerage accounts and index funds. Lastly, I chose the most reasonably priced college to attend, so I would take on the least amount of student loans as possible to help ease the financial burden of ever-rising college costs. Because of my solid foundation in personal finance, my finances and I are ready for anything life throws my way, and I am now confident in my financial decisions."

-Emma Wilt



Student: Gloria Teigland

Teacher: James Redelsheimer

School: Robbinsdale Armstrong High School, Plymouth MN

- - - - - 

“Over my past semester in Economics, I learned that personal finance is about so much more than just money! It's about being practical, responsible, and confident in the everyday choices you make. It's about weighing the opportunity costs and investing in your future, but above all it's about putting faith in yourself financially. Trusting yourself to set up a life and future that you want to pursue and ways to slowly build up your wealth while enjoying life at the same time. It's because I learned about personal finances in Economics that I have set up a savings account, opened a checking account, and I'm currently pursuing opening a Roth IRA! This unit has immersed me in the joys that come with being knowledgeable with finances and I have started exploring becoming a financial advisor as my future career path. I would love to be able to educate all different types of people in personal finance and open their eyes to understanding how life changing it can be. Before this unit and this class, money seemed to be a burden and I was confused at how it could benefit me beyond the bare minimum. It wasn't until Economics that I started to check the stock market every day, weigh every decision that confronts me and even educate others on what I had learned. This class open my eyes to the opportunity to lead a fulfilled financial life."

-Gloria Teigland



Student: Saloni Jain

Teacher: Patricia Page

School:  East Greenwich High School, East Greenwich, RI

- - - - - 

“Taking a personal finance class is an invaluable experience-- it equips students with real-world skills to make successful financial decisions in the future. For example, through my personal finance class, I learned about budgeting, saving, diversifying my portfolio, filing taxes, getting different types of insurance, applying for loans, using credit and debit cards, and applying for jobs. As a result of taking this personal finance class, I have decided to get a paid internship. When I start this internship, I will understand how to fill out the W-4 form and how direct deposit works. I also plan to open a Roth IRA to save part of my net pay for retirement. Furthermore, taking a personal finance class has inspired me to pursue a career in finance and participate in opportunities such as the National Personal Finance Challenge, Invest in Girls, Future Business Leaders of America, and the National Consumers League LifeSmarts Competition to both further my financial literacy and educate others about its importance."

-Saloni Jain



Student: Lucy Vitali

Teacher: Sue Suttich

School: Tigard High School, Lake Oswego, OR

- - - - - 

“I really didn’t know what to expect when I signed up for Personal Finance and Wealth Management. Others told me it was an interesting class so I figured I’d give it a try, and let me tell you, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made. I’ve learned so much that a lot of highschoolers don’t get the opportunity to learn. I barely knew anything about investing, credit scores, how to budget for big financial decisions, buying cars, mortgages, and more. A lot of what I’ve learned seems like common knowledge at this point but that’s just the thing - many adults could benefit greatly from these courses. I’m far from being a financial expert but I always stay curious. I love learning new things and I feel like I’ve had big opportunities open up. Although simple, one of the biggest takeaways for me was a change of perspective. I used to think investing was just for rich people and that you’re born into wealth, when really anyone can start investing, compounding their money, and gain assets. I recently started my first job and was motivated by these courses to save more and start investing this year. I really believe this class has set me up for a very bright future in finance and life in general."

-Lucy Vitali



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!

Mail Icon

Subscribe to the blog

Get Question of the Day, FinCap Friday, and the latest updates from NGPF in your inbox by subscribing today: