Wade Hampton High School student and Nadia Gomez is one of two South Carolina winners in the Next Gen Personal Finance annual PAYBACK Challenge.
Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF) is a non-profit committed to ensuring that ALL students leave high school with the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly complex financial world.
Over 900 students from all across the United States submitted 250 word essays. Nadia chose the option to write a letter to her future self that she will open after her freshman year of college to remind herself of the key skills she will need to thrive during her college years.
Teachers nominated the best student essay from their classes. Nadia and other state winners will receive a $500 award from NGPF to be used for educational purposes.
“Over 200,000 students played PAYBACK during the contest period,” noted NGPF Co-Founder, Tim Ranzetta. “Thanks to the educators who engaged with their students by bringing PAYBACK to their classrooms and facilitating the amazing conversations that followed. With student debt at record levels, these conversations are more critical than ever,” he said.
As you start college, there are a few things you need to remember in order to thrive in this season. As you begin to make your own decisions, remember that school is your focus at the moment. Making decisions is hard, so find a mentor who can guide you all through college and up to financial success. While you are very independent you are going to need to humbly and graciously approach others for wisdom and support. Continue avoiding using debt to finance your college education, by maintaining your grades, staying up to date with your financial aid, and utilizing your mentor to develop a plan that matches your goals. While it may be tempting to use a credit card to finance purchases in college, you are borrowing from your future. I encourage you to get a job where you work exactly twenty hours a week. Working this many hours will help you pay for expenses while also allowing you to be productive in school and maintain relationships. In maintaining those relationships it's important to surround yourself with positive, ambitious people. You will be the average of the top five people you associate with, so choose people that will not only support your goals, but will encourage you to stay focused. Lastly, remember the people around you are the people who are going to help you blossom into the successful person you dream to be, so choose them wisely.