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High School Teams Crowned Best in America in CEE’s Nationwide Personal Finance Competition

Students From California, Alabama, Arkansas and Kansas Named Top in U.S.A. in the Council for Economic Education’s National Personal Finance Challenge

NEW YORK, June 06, 2023--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Do you understand the concepts of earning income, spending, saving, investing, managing credit and managing risk? Were you ever offered the opportunity to learn finance essentials that can help you make the most of what you have -- or hope to achieve -- throughout your life?

At the Council for Economic Education’s National Personal Finance Challenge (NPFC) finals, state championship high school teams from across the United States demonstrated their understanding of the building blocks of personal finance needed to help themselves and all students build a life of financial stability and economic mobility.

Following a series of statewide and national academic competitions, students from Adrian Wilcox High School of Santa Clara, California, finished first in the country for personal finance knowledge. Teams from Vestavia Hills High School of Alabama, the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts from Hot Springs, and Andover High School of Kansas earned recognition as first, second and third runners-up.

"Understanding the basics of personal finance unlocks a wealth of opportunities for life," said Nan. J. Morrison, CEE president and chief executive officer. "We congratulate this year’s NPFC championship teams and all the students, teachers and CEE affiliates who bring these essential skills to life in competitions and in classrooms."

Only about half the states require personal finance courses, according to CEE’s Survey of the States. The movement to provide the curriculum to all students in all high schools is picking up steam among parents, state legislators and education policymakers, but, Morrison added, "too many kids are still left to figure out money smarts and personal finance all by themselves."

The National Personal Finance Challenge is supported by Voya Financial, as part of its mission to make secure financial futures possible — one person, one family, one institution at a time. Together with Voya Foundation, Voya works to support programming around the country that prepares students for the workforce of the future and to manage their future income through life to a secure retirement.

"The National Personal Finance Challenge arms students with the knowledge and tools to make smart financial decisions when faced with real-life scenarios," said Heather Lavallee, Voya Financial chief executive officer and CEE board member. "These fundamental skills provide the opportunity for a better financial future as students enter adulthood and face choices on subjects like debt and credit, which can have profound effects on their ability to retire in confidence decades down the line."

Winning schools, team members and teachers in the 2023 NPFC national finals are:

  • First place: Adrian Wilcox High School, Santa Clara, California:

    • Manish Mothi, Joshua Ching, Diane Shih, Chloe Michel and coach Anthony Raffetto

  • First runner-up: Vestavia Hills High School, Vestavia, Alabama:

    • Zain Farooqui, Jonathan Wu, Edward Pang and coach Steven Johnson

  • Second runner-up: Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts, Hot Springs, Arkansas:

    • AiYanna Tombs, Beatrice Nkunga, Daniel Nkunga and coach Ernestine Ross

  • Andover High School, Andover, Kansas:

    • Brad Harris, Grayson Anderson, Zacharia Qaki and coach Chelli Cranmer

All members of each finalist team receive a cash prize.

About the Council for Economic Education

The Council for Economic Education’s (CEE’s) mission is to equip K–12 students with the tools and knowledge of personal finance and economics so that they can make better decisions for themselves, their families, and their communities, and learn to successfully navigate in our ever-changing economy. We carry out our mission in three ways. We advocate to require financial and economic education in every state. We provide training, tools and resources – online and live through over 180 affiliates nationwide - to more than 40,000 teachers annually who in turn bring the highest quality economics and personal finance instruction to over 4 million students. We deepen knowledge and introduce high school students to critical career capabilities through our national competitions and Invest in Girls program. Learn more at and on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About Voya Financial®

Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), is a leading health, wealth and investment company with 7,200 employees who are focused on achieving Voya’s aspirational vision: Clearing your path to financial confidence and a more fulfilling life. Through products, solutions and technologies, Voya helps its 14.7 million individual, workplace and institutional clients become well planned, well invested and well protected. Benefitfocus, a Voya company, extends the reach of Voya’s workplace benefits and savings offerings by providing benefits administration capabilities to 16.5 million individual subscription employees across employer and health plan clients. Certified as a "Great Place to Work" by the Great Place to Work® Institute, Voya is purpose-driven and equally committed to conducting business in a way that is socially, environmentally, economically and ethically responsible. Voya has earned recognition as: one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute; a member of the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index; and a "Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion" on the Disability Equality Index. For more information, visit Follow Voya Financial on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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For more information and school team photos