2017 H&R Block Budget Challenge


Back Row (Left to Right): Jordan Lewis, Courtney Kaiser, Anthony Lindstrom, Michael McNeil, Nick Trosko, Chris Hermann, and Chris Warner. Middle Row (Left to Right): Hanna Kroberger, Jaime Stewart, Aidan Reed, Patrick Schmal, and Robbie Rives. Front Row (Left to Right): Felicia McBride, Maiya Tasaico, Hanna Scott, Alex Scott, Cara Keevey, and Preston Southwick.

Brendan Dunne, Writer

Recently, one hundred and twenty-seven students from Shawnee participated in a national competition called the H&R Block Budget Challenge. The competition is an online simulation tool that replicates both real-world budgeting and personal finance decision-making. This competition is held in order to allow those participating to be better prepared to face financial decisions like paying bills, investing in retirement funds, saving money, managing loans, etc. Students who place in the top 5 in the nation win a $20,000 scholarship.

The competition was held from January 12 to March 23, and had members of Debra Bunn, Mike Jackson, and Brigitte Watson’s classes as contestants. The contest had 20,500 students participating nationwide. Of those contestants, about fifty-two students from Shawnee were placed in the top 10 percent.

Seven students from Shawnee placed in the top 100 in the nation. These students are Maiya Tasaico (#81), Hanna Scott (#52), Cara Keevey (#44), Michael McNeil (#35), Robert Rives (#33), Victor Otaviano (#31), and William Bergin (#29). Furthermore, Debra Bunn’s two Personal Finance classes ranked second and fifth in the nation in class competition.