Jul 05, 2021
NGPF Fellows

NGPF Fellows: Personal Finance Student of the Year Award 2020-2021, Part 3

The NGPF Fellows are a group of phenomenal educators who have attended training with the NGPF team and help us work towards Mission: 2030 all across the country. They're able to offer an "NPGF Personal Finance Student of the Year" award annually to one of their students.

The winning students are selected based on the following criteria:

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

This week we're showcasing another group of winners and we'll continue to do so each week right here on the blog throughout the upcoming summer weeks!


Congratulations this week go out to:


Student: Alison DeNamur

Teacher: Patrick Kubeny

School: Rhinelander High School, Rhinelander, WI

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“Personal finance classes are arguably the most important classes one can take. Having a background in personal finance is a lifelong skill that can benefit both you and those around you. In our society, many people struggle with their personal finances and find themselves living paycheck to paycheck. With the right knowledge, people can make better and more informed decisions that will help them today and for years to come. Taking personal finance classes can give someone the knowledge they need to save for retirement, college educations, or any personal goals one might have. Knowledge of finance can help someone manage debt, which can be crushing if people aren’t careful and conscious of personal debt. Knowing when, how much, and how to properly shop for the right loans are all very important skills. I feel it's important for everyone to have a basic knowledge of Finance. Having this knowledge is a priority for me as I realize the importance of it. I also think that those with this knowledge have an obligation to share what they know with those around them. Many people in our country lack these skills and are hurt by that lack of knowledge. Our entire economy and society can benefit from everyone being educated in finance. As I took more and more finance classes, I ended up having a lot of conversations with my dad to better understand my personal situation and so that I can confidently take over my finances in the near future!"

-Alison DeNamur



Student: Sahil Shukla

Teacher: Aric Weiker

School: Interlake High School, Bellevue, WA

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“As we grow in our life, we have to learn to manage everything on our own. Money matters / finance are an important part of this learning. We need to handle our personal finance so as to be economically stable and settled in our lives. Personal Finance class helps me know how to save money in my life, including how much to save for retirement, college expenses etc. It also gives me information about how to manage loans, creating a budget for various expenses, etc. It also teaches about how various financial services work and how we can manage our financial status using these services; for example, credit cards, loans, bank account, credit score etc. During this class, I have learned how to plan financially for my college and other future expenses. I have also got an idea about how the tax system works. I have opened a bank account and have started saving for my college fund. I have also learned about how the banking system works, how different checking and savings accounts works. I save wherever I can as much as possible. This class has also taught me how to spend money smartly on some expenses. My banking account has taught me how to take care of money, and how essential money is in our life."

-Sahil Shukla



Student: Nicholas Kerkhoff

Teacher: Kerri Herrild 

School: De Pere High School, De Pere, WI

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“The value of a personal finance class has no words that justify its importance. In our world today, credit and loans are a big way of how we pay for things such as school, houses, cars, boats, etc. Many struggle to do so and fall into serious debt. With this class and what I have learned, I know that finance can be a scary thing, but with patience and will, succeeding financially can be accomplished."

-Nicholas Kerkhoff



Student: Brooke Aranda

Teacher: Kathleen Hatfield

School:  Chiawana High School, Pasco, WA

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“The value of a personal finance class is learning how to personally handle your money and other kinds of finances. The value is the greater good of learning how to do things financially and what needs to be done. I always heard my parents talking about W-2's but I never knew what this form actually was until I took financial literacy and learned about all the forms and what each one was meant for. April is that time of the month where taxes are due, and I even learned how to fill out the form for your taxes, I know it's simple and everyone does it but when you're new to it you're just like what is this? The class helps build a resume, so the student can already be a step ahead applying for jobs. So personally, my class was about helping you and others to get a leg up in life on how to get a job, filling out a W-2 and filing taxes when you need to. An action I took as a result of finance class is adding things to my resume I never would've thought to add. Even helping what to say in interviews to make yourself have a greater chance of getting that job and what you need to fill out after you get the job. Even though a personal finance class is a requirement at some high schools, it really does teach life lessons."

-Brooke Aranda



Student: Cara Samuelson

Teacher: Matt Pohlman

School: Manson Northwest Webster High School, Manson, IA

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“A personal finance class is required at Manson Northwest Webster. This is a class that teaches real-world applications that we, as students, need. There are not very many classes taught at our that prepare students to live independent lives. Without this class, I would have no idea how many things work in in finance. This class has taught me how to make financial smart decisions, be more independent, and prepare for my future. After taking this personal finance class, I am more prepared to live an independent life. I have already started putting money aside into a savings account for my future. I plan to continue adding to this account until I feel comfortable. I have also started thinking about taking out a loan for my next car. After taking this class, I feel that I am more prepared to make purchases and do it the correct way. I will make my car payments on time to help boost my credit score. I feel that this personal finance class has taught me how to be a responsible adult and am glad that I chose to take this class."

-Cara Samuelson



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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