Congrats to the Montezuma Iowa Personal Finance team who earned runner-up honors at the Iowa Personal Finance Challenge held on April 12 at Drake University. Pictured are, from left: Kennen Roadcap, Maguire DeJong, Colton Benson and Jack Erselius. They were one of 16 teams to compete at state after winning the Southeast Iowa region earlier this year.
The Montezuma team of Colton Benson, Kennen Roadcap, Maguire De Jong and Jack Erselius finished as the state runner-up in the Iowa Personal Finance Challenge.
The top qualifier from the Southeast Iowa region, the four men were one of 16 teams who qualified for the state competition on April 12.
Arriving at state, the students were given a five-page case study complete with family situation, financial goals, assets and debts, and some additional pieces of information to analyze.
“The boys had one hour to analyze the situation and create a presentation from scratch, showcasing their thoughts and solutions for the case study family,” said Kevin Gartman, Montezuma business teacher.
In this particular study, the students were tasked with handling lower incomes from the parents, while still trying to save for three children's college savings accounts, trying to take a vacation, paying off several debts, debating buying a home, and deciding how to save for retirement, all while not having a currently existing budget. The team completed a full budget using information from the fictional family and presented multiple solutions to each financial goal.
The group presentation of no more than five minutes was presented to a panel of judges, and was followed up by a handful of questions by the panel. After the completion of all 16 group presentations and a lunch break on the Drake University campus, the top four groups were announced as "podium finalists" and had to re-present for a second panel of judges. The judges convened and deliberated placing of the teams. The Montezuma team and a team from Waukee Northwest split the judge panel votes 50/50, before the Waukee Northwest group was announced as the team advancing to nationals through a tiebreaker.
The state runner-up finish, complete with a cash prize for each individual team member and a trophy for the team, was the highest finish by a Montezuma team in the two years of Montezuma competing in the competition. While three boys on the team were seniors, junior Jack Erselius looks forward to talking his peers into competing once again next year.
The Iowa Jump$tart Coalition followed the team throughout the competition, and you can be on the lookout for clips from the group presentation, complete with team member and team advisor interviews, on promotional materials on social media in the coming future.
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