H&R Block Awards $1.4 Million in Grants and Scholarships through Teen Financial Literacy Program

January 19, 2015

One exemplary high school and its students won $227,500 in scholarships and grants

As part of its commitment to teen financial literacy, H&R Block recently awarded $1.4 million in classroom grants and student scholarships through its H&R Block Budget Challenge. The online simulation allows students to experience paying bills, managing expenses and more in the safety of a classroom—where a mistake is not nearly as costly as in the real world.

“Our goal is to arm teens with the personal finance skills and confidence they need to succeed when they are out on their own,” said Kathy Collins, chief marketing officer at H&R Block. “H&R Block Budget Challenge is an investment in American teens.”

Seventeen classrooms received a total of $112,500 in grants and 67 students each received $20,000 college scholarships. But of the 32,000 high school students in more than 2,000 classrooms nationwide that competed, one exceptional high school in Alabama demonstrated a true mastery of the Challenge.

Guntersville High School teacher Sherry Brown and her students secured $227,500 in prizes. The school, in a town of approximately 8,000, received two grants—the maximum allowed—and 11 of its students won $20,000 scholarships. Brown, who teaches economics and government, is incredibly proud of the way her students embraced the game.

“This program sparked a fire inside my students that was simply amazing to witness. It has increased their financial understanding and desire to learn, and taught them financial responsibilities. Through the H&R Block Budget Challenge program and ‘power of doing,’ they realized they could make better decisions,” Brown said.

Another $1.6 million in prizes will be awarded this semester and teachers can still register.

H&R Block Budget Challenge helps to address the need for more financial education. Only 7 percent of high school students1 are financially literate and fewer than 30 percent2 of adults report being offered financial education at school or college.

Fortunately, there is still time for classrooms to get involved in the H&R Block Budget Challenge and compete to win big. At the conclusion of the program in April 2015, H&R Block will award an additional $1.6 million in grants, scholarships and cash prizes, including a $100,000 grand prize college scholarship to the student who is most “real-world ready” — bringing the company’s total investment in teen financial education to $3 million for the 2014-2015 school year.

Three classroom simulations remain in this year’s H&R Budget Challenge program for 2015 and teacher registration is open for the following two simulations:

  • 30 – April 2 (Teacher registration ends Jan. 23)
  • 13 – April 16 (Teacher registration ends Feb. 6)

Teacher registration closed Jan. 9 for the Jan. 16 – March 19 simulation. For more information or to register, visit hrbds.org.

B-roll footage of the presentation is available in the following link with the code “ghs” http://video.invisionagency.com/hr-block-budget-challenge.

Sherry Brown, Dana Stidger, Emma Fauncher . Sheri Brown, Aubrey Humphries, Alexi Betterton, Triston Charles, Taylor Allen, Chandler Fisher, Austin Clark, Emma Bright, Emma Fauncher, Hudson Driskill, Jacob Michael, Dana Stidger
. . .
Kelli Ramey . Dana Stidger, Taylor Allen, Emma Bright, Emma Fancher, Aubrey Humphries, Alexi Betterton, Triston Charles, Austin Clark, Jacob Michael, Chandler Fisher, Hudson Driskill
  1. George Washington University School of Business
  2. U.S. Financial Capability
  3. See full terms and conditions, including eligibility requirements, at hrbds.org.

H&R Block Budget Challenge Winning Schools and Students

Oct. 3 Simulation – $2,500 Midway Grant Winners
Madeira High School, Cincinnati, Ohio
Guntersville High School, Guntersville, Ala.
Oakland Schools Technical Campus-SE, Royal Oak, Mich.
DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Houston, Texas
Wellington High School, Wellington, Texas

Oct. 10 Simulation – $2,500 Midway Grant Winners
Point Loma High School, San Diego, Calif.
Potomac Falls High School, Potomac Falls, Va.
St. Patrick’s Elementary and High School, Portland, Mich.
Westwood School, Camilla, Ga.
Arthur County High School, Arthur, Neb.

Oct. 17 Simulation – $2,500 Midway Grant Winners
Floyd Central High School, Floyds Knobs, Ind.
Macomb Junior Senior High School, Macomb, Ill.
Adams Central Community School, Monroe, Ind.
Lena-Winslow High School, Lena, Ill.
Lower Cape May Region High School, Cape May, N.J.

Oct. 3 Simulation – $5,000 Endpoint Grant Winners
Guntersville High School, Guntersville, Ala.
Madeira High School, Cincinnati, Ohio
DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Houston, Texas
Oakland Schools Technical Campus-SE, Royal Oak, Mich.
Wellington High School, Wellington, Texas

Oct. 10 Simulation – $5,000 Endpoint Grant Winners
Potomac Falls High School, Potomac Falls, Va.
St. Patrick’s Elementary and High School, Portland, Mich.
Point Loma High School, San Diego, Calif.
Westwood School, Camilla, Ga.
Arthur County High School, Arthur, Neb.

Oct. 17 Simulation – $5,000 Endpoint Grant Winners
Floyd Central High School, Floyds Knobs, Ind.
Adams Central Community School, Monroe, Ind.
East Windsor High School, East Windsor, Conn.
Macomb Junior Senior High School, Macomb, Ill.
Lower Cape May Region High School, Cape May, N.J.

Oct. 3 Simulation – $20,000 Student Scholarship Winners
Rebecca Postoll, Charlotte Catholic High School, Charlotte, N.C.
Parker Garrison, Crossroads Academy Homeschool, Indian Trail, N.C.
Athena Androulakakis, Our Lady of the Elms High School, Akron, Ohio
Jackson Mantkowski, Madeira High School, Cincinnati, Ohio
Nick Cedillo, Madeira High School, Cincinnati, Ohio
Kristian Snyder, Madeira High School, Cincinnati, Ohio
Michelle Jerzak, Minneota High School, Minneota, Minn.
Alyssa Otto, Minneota High School, Minneota, Minn.
Evan DeCiantis, Oakland Schools Technical Campus-SE, Royal Oak, Mich.
Wade Murley, Oakland Schools Technical Campus-SE, Royal Oak, Mich.
Antone Montgomery, Oakland Schools Technical Campus-SE, Royal Oak, Mich.
Zackary Heacock, Oakland Schools Technical Campus-SE, Royal Oak, Mich.
Hudson Driskill, Guntersville High School, Guntersville, Ala.
Aubrey Humphries, Guntersville High School, Guntersville, Ala.
Chandler Fisher, Guntersville High School, Guntersville, Ala.
Emma Fancher, Guntersville High School, Guntersville, Ala.
Jacob Michael, Guntersville High School, Guntersville, Ala.
Triston Charles, Guntersville High School, Guntersville, Ala.
Taylor Allen, Guntersville High School, Guntersville, Ala.
Austin Clark, Guntersville High School, Guntersville, Ala.
Dana Stidger, Guntersville High School, Guntersville, Ala.
Emma Bright, Guntersville High School, Guntersville, Ala.
Alexi Betterton, Guntersville High School, Guntersville, Ala.

Oct. 10 Simulation – $20,000 Student Scholarship Winners
Ian Marsh, Madeira High School, Cincinnati, Ohio
Frances Barone, Madeira High School, Cincinnati, Ohio
Bryan Huici, Southwest Miami High School, Miami, Fla.
Kaytlynn Fisher, Musselman High School, Inwood, W.V.
Kyron Andrews, Walled Lake Central High School, Walled Lake, Mich.
Keleigh Sann, Mardela Middle and High School, Mardela, Md.
Riley Sanborn, Potomac Falls High School, Potomac Falls, Va.
Taylor Stocks, Musselman High School, Inwood, W.V.
Victoria Wolcott, Mardela High School, Mardela, Md.
Elijah Hoppes, St. Patrick’s Elementary and High School, Portland, Mich.
Farhana Chowdhoury, Potomac Falls High School, Potomac Falls, Va.
Colin Arscott, Northern Highlands Regional High School, Allendale, N.J.
Noah Pung, St. Patrick’s Elementary and High School, Portland, Mich.
Sarah Muskett, Musselman High School, Inwood, W.V.
Alondra Sanchez, American Canyon High School, American Canyon, Calif.
Emma Maxwell, Rangel Women’s Leadership School, Dallas, Texas
Hannah Zwemke, Billings West High School, Billings, Mont.
Nina Palazzolo, Madeira High School, Cincinnati, Ohio
Evy Koon, Potomac Falls High School, Potomac Falls, Va.
Kendra Giles, Potomac Falls High School, Potomac Falls, Va.
Jake Ippolito, Point Pleasant Borough High School, Point Pleasant, N.J.
Thomas Otto, Potomac Falls High School, Potomac Falls, Va.

Oct. 17 Simulation – $20,000 Student Scholarship Winners
Anthony Perry, Perry Homeschool, New Bedford, Mass.
Daniel Perry, Perry Homeschool, New Bedford, Mass.
Amanda Clayton, Oakland Schools Technical Campus-SE, Royal Oak, Mich.
Julia Preuss, Mt. Spokane High School, Mead, Wash.
Adam Cearley, Round Rock High School, Round Rock, Texas
Noah Banasiewicz, Princess Anne High School, Virginia Beach, Va.
James Kelin, Manheim Township High School, Lancaster, Pa.
Haylie Brown, Bishop Hall Charter School, Thomasville, Ga.
Kyle Beach, Floyd Central High School, Floyds Knobs, Ind.
Peter Sampe, Timber Creek High School, Fort Worth, Texas
Bailey Lassiter, Floyd Central High School, Floyds Knobs, Ind.
Leah Agler, Adams Central Community School, Monroe, Ind.
Tabitha Church, Crest High School, Shelby, N.C.
Zach Rhoads, Floyd Central High School, Floyds Knobs, Ind.
Zach Suidan, Walled Lake Northern High School, Commerce, Mich.
Evan Spears, Floyd Central High School, Floyds Knobs, Ind.
Brianna Scoles, Billings West High School, Billings, Mont.
Dylan Copenhaver, Floyd Central High School, Floyds Knobs, Ind.
Taina Mercado, Lower Cape May Region High School, Cape May, N.J.
Mark McCormick, Floyd Central High School, Floyds Knobs, Ind.
Nicholas LaSanta, Lansdale Catholic High School, Lansdale, Pa.
Daniel Allen, St. Mary’s Ryken High School, Leonardtown, Md.

About H&R Block Dollars & Sense
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world’s largest consumer tax services provider. More than 650 million tax returns have been prepared worldwide by and through H&R Block since 1955. H&R Block Dollars & Sense helps increase financial literacy among teenagers through curriculum and resources, grants to supplement the cost of personal finance education and scholarships to help young Americans pay for higher education. Since 2009, H&R Block Dollars & Sense has donated more than $4 million in grants and scholarships. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom or hrbds.org.

About ProperLiving
Based out of Cincinnati, Ohio, ProperLiving, LLC owns and operates the Budget Challenge Personal Finance Simulation, which received a U.S. patent in May 2013. The program teaches not only financial principles, but practical personal finance behaviors, knowledge and skill. The real-time simulation exposes students to the nuts and bolts of receiving a paycheck, paying bills and maximizing savings within a typical household budget. The repetitive tasks of receiving and paying bills, combined with consequences of action or inaction, produce real financial habits and confidence.

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