As part of our recognition of Financial Literacy Month, we asked students who have completed EverFi’s financial literacy platform to share their thoughts – in the form of a blog post – on what they’ve taken away from the experience and how they intend to apply that to their future financial lives.
As we rolled out this national student challenge, we hoped to capture the thoughts of a couple hundred students. So you can imagine our delight when over 1,400 elementary school and high school students from 166 schools and 37 states chimed in with blog posts. The submissions were fantastic and we’re incredibly appreciative of all the students (and their supportive teachers) who took so much interest in the challenge.
Because we’d like to see all students recognized for their thoughtful contributions, we thought a word cloud that encapsulates all 220,000 submitted words would be fitting. On behalf of the EverFi team, I can certainly say that it makes our day to see so many important topics reflected in the submissions.
After a detailed review that included more than 20 judges, we’re thrilled to announce four national winners and to be able to post their submissions here on the EverFi blog. Congratulations to these students for completing their certification and for distinguishing themselves amongst a group of fantastic entries!
Elementary School Winner
5th grade, PS 189M, New York, NY
Teacher: Damian Rodriguez
The greatest lesson I have learned from Vault is how to keep my money safe. This has and will definitely affect my future finances in many ways. First, I will learn how to invest my money in ways where I will gain instead of lose more. I will save and spend equally on wants and needs. That is, I will set aside a percentage of my earnings for the things I want and another percentage for the things I need. Another way this has and will continue to affect my life is because it has motivated me to earn money. I now know the difference between wages and salaries, wants and needs, and saving and spending. Most importantly, I have learned the true value of money. I now understand that by doing jobs like washing cars and mowing people’s lawns, I can earn money that can be saved for future use or used for things that I currently want. Having people like my parents and teachers as financial advisors will also guide me into making good financial decisions. Vault has inspired me to learn more about money and I strongly believe that every student should have access to this wonderful program. It is the kind of program that’s valuable not only in school, but in my personal life as well. This is how Vault has and will continue to change my financial life.
High School Winners
12th Grade, Quakertown Community High School, Quakertown, PA
Teacher Name: Lynn Gunning
EverFi Financial Literacy program sponsored by Univest Bank
Financial confidence is the best lesson I have gained from completing the EverFi financial literacy certification. I am so excited to use the knowledge given to me to make better decisions about money in the future. I know how to save money in savings accounts, CDs and other investments, as well as how to better spend my money on higher education and renting vs. owning. In EverFi’s ten short modules, I have gained self-assurance by knowing what I am talking about when finances come up in conversation. Each module is an exciting interactive experience to learn something new, or refresh something you knew before. I would definitely recommend these fun lessons to my friends because they have helped me understand what is going on in the real world. I am no longer intimidated by banks or stock rooms because I finally understand what goes on! EverFi has given me a taste of every aspect of the financial world which I can apply in real life, I have learned everything from how taxes and insurance work, to what a consumer has to look for when comparison shopping for loans, savings accounts and credit cards, and how to protect myself from scams and consumer fraud. I am even able to answer my friends’ questions about subsidized and unsubsidized loans, and other ways to finance their higher education. I am now the go-to money person when someone has a question which makes me feel so smart! This newly-gained confidence empowers me to make financial decisions which will affect the rest of my life for the better. With what the EverFi financial literacy certification has taught me, I see a future where I can be self-reliant, which is the best thing anyone can be given.
9th Grade, Ponte Vedra High School, Ponte Vedra, FL
Teacher Name: Chris Kochan
EverFi Financial Literacy program sponsored by Prosperity Bank
The EverFi financial literacy program pushed me to learn a lot of new and interesting tools that will help me later on in life. The greatest lesson I learned overall, was that going forward I am going to have to be an independent person with many responsibilities. I learned things about banking, savings, financing higher education and credit scores. These are all so important and I definitely feel that I have the necessary knowledge in these categories to succeed in life and be confident about the choices I will make when it comes to buying, selling, or college funds. Taking the time to sit down and watch these videos and interact with games was by far one of the smartest choices I have made this year. By excelling in these categories and topics, I will be able to go to college knowing how to handle funds, scholarships, housing, credit scores and all of the other things that life will throw at me. Even after college I will still use what I learned through this program. Things such as renting vs. owning or taxes and insurance will all help me make greater decisions when it comes time to do so. I feel like EverFi is something that all students in high school should sit down and do, because of the amount of knowledge and awareness it brings. If the majority of high school students in the United States were required to do this program, they would all be more successful in what they decide to do with their money or other things. I am very glad I participated in this program and I know that it is going to benefit me in many ways down the road.
12th Grade, Centennial High School, Champaign, IL
Teacher name: Caitlin O’Grady
EverFi Financial Literacy program sponsored by Heartland Bank and Trust Company and the Rauner Family Foundation
The EverFi program was a great way to learn more about my future with finances. The most important thing that I took away from this program was that it gave me the awareness of how poor financial decisions I make now can have a relatively big effect on my future. EverFi helped me learn about the seriousness of a credit score and more importantly how I can use it to my advantage. Although, EverFi reminded me that a credit score can be a scary and intimidating factor to my financial security, I was also reminded of the importance of how I can be rewarded from good fiscal habits for a lifetime. The responsibility it takes to earn and maintain a worthy credit score opens up many opportunities in the future to be able to be granted loans for a new car or new home. The first step of many large, significant purchases in life is based on your reliability shown through your credit score. A credit score doubles as a look into your past which also provides a basis for how you can be trusted in your future. EverFi reminded me of the importance of each and every financial decision I make, and even the significance of starting good habits now despite being financially dependent on my parents. My journey to completing my EverFi Financial Literacy certification taught beyond the mere basis of financial success, but it furthermore taught me the importance of building good character through financial responsibility.