Lee Receives Honorable Mention in Nat’l Finance Contest

Karson Lee

JHS junior Karson Lee

PALO ALTO, California, January 8, 2019 – Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF), a non-profit committed to ensuring that ALL students leave high school with the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly complex financial world, is pleased to announce the honorable mention winners of their second annual PAYBACK Challenge, one of whom is Johnston High School junior Karson Lee.

This essay contest attracted more than 800 submissions from students in all fifty states. In Iowa, Lee, along with a student from Dowling Catholic, were named a honorable mention recipients and will each receive a $500 scholarship for their efforts. After playing the award-winning game, PAYBACK, students wrote a 250 word essay answering one of these questions:

What steps can you take NOW in order to complete college with as little debt as possible?


How has the PAYBACK game changed your perspective on the real-life decisions you will make when paying for college?

Johnston High School business teachers Lexi Shafer and Kayla Bousum used the PAYBACK game as part of the curriculum in their financial literacy courses. Shafer and Bousum, along with other business/finance teachers from across the nation, then nominated the best student essay from their classes. NGPF staff then reviewed these essays, judging them based on the following criteria:

  • Indicates an understanding of key concepts learned by playing the game PAYBACK.
  • Addresses concerns their parents/guardians may have about this sensitive topic.
  • Takes a creative approach to engaging parents/guardians in a conversation about college.

About Next Gen Personal Finance

Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF), has become the “one-stop shop” for financial educators looking for high-quality, engaging curriculum to equip students with skills to thrive in their future.  In just three years, NGPF’s comprehensive online curricular resources and teacher training have already been used by over 10,000 teachers in all fifty states. They love NGPF’s approach that can be summarized as the 4 Cs: Curated, Comprehensive, Customizable and Current (and it’s FREE too!).

NGPF screenshot