COVID-19 didn’t stop TruMark Financial® Credit Union from hosting its annual Financial Jeopardy competition and awarding scholarships to graduating seniors. Although the competition didn’t have the excitement of an audience, 10’ x 10’ screen, podiums, and buzzers, eight graduating seniors were excited to have the chance to win a $5,000 scholarship via Zoom.
Students from various school districts were given two scenarios focused on money management and were tasked with applying their personal finance knowledge by writing an essay. In addition, credit union representatives conducted individual interviews to test their level of understanding of budgeting, credit, and how credit unions differ from banks. Just like in the televised version of Jeopardy, the competition included a final Jeopardy question.
However, no wagering was done in this version. Credit union board of directors and representatives served as judges and scored the students on their essays, personal interviews, and their critical thinking aptitude.
The winner of the grand prize was Rebecca Zajac, a senior at Radnor High School. Her knowledge and ability to apply personal finance concepts landed her the first place distinction and a $5,000 scholarship. In the fall, Zajac will study environmental studies and interdisciplinary arts in a 5-year dual degree program at Tufts University. “Attending a private university is a big financial decision and having the opportunity for scholarships such as the one offered by TruMark Financial will help make my dreams possible,” said Zajac. She added that her personal finance class helped prepare her as she embarks on college and becomes more financially independent.
Dhruvi Patel, representing Bensalem High School, placed second in the competition and was awarded a $3,000 scholarship. Patel is headed to Drexel University where she plans to major in computer science. “This scholarship will greatly help me finance some of my college education and allow me to focus on important things such as my academics and community service without having to constantly worry about my expenses,” commented Patel.
Abraham Lincoln High School senior Arbiona Muzhaqi finished third and won a $2,000 scholarship. She will be pursuing a degree in management information systems at Drexel University. During her junior and seniors years Muzhaqi attended TruMark Financial in-person and virtual classroom presentations and said the presentations enriched her personal finance knowledge
In addition to the top three prizes, TruMark Financial awarded $200 credit union savings accounts to the following five other participants:
- Shannon Clancy, Upper Dublin High School
- Kaitlin Hershey, Archbishop Wood High School
- Kyle Maher, Neshaminy High School
- Maria Sousa, Northeast High School
- Brooke Timer, Plymouth Whitemarsh High School
The Financial Jeopardy competition is a component of TruMark Financial’s Building Financial Futures initiative. TruMark Financial employees conduct financial literacy reality fairs at local high schools and also visit schools to conduct presentations on topics such as saving, budgeting, credit, and investing. The presentations provide third-party expertise to students and complement the schools’ existing personal finance curricula.