Sean Lawrence, a St. Clair, Michigan, high school senior, has won $120,000 in college scholarships as grand-prize winner of the H&R Block Budget Challenge — a teen financial literacy program that simulates an adult’s financial life and rewards students for mastering real-world financial decision-making.
Lawrence earned the $100,000 scholarship for having the most “real world ready” financial skills out of more than 93,000 high school students in 5,621 classrooms nationwide after participating in Budget Challenge this school year. He received an additional $20,000 scholarship for placing in the top-22 of his simulation, earning a total of $120,000 to apply toward his education.
Future chemical engineer
Lawrence plans to study chemical engineering at Macomb Community College, Charter Township of Clinton, Michigan, for two years and then transfer to Western Michigan University. His future goals include working hard at a well-paying job, while investing in retirement and saving for a house and a car.
Reflecting on the knowledge that he and other teens have gained through the Budget Challenge, Lawrence said, “Learning about money management before going into the real world allows teens to make the right choices, or have the correct knowledge so they don’t end up with mountains of debt.”
Learning by doing approach
The H&R Block Budget Challenge uses a learn-by-doing educational approach that allows students to experience personal finance activities in the safety of a classroom, before heading out into the real world on their own. Participants play against other students and classrooms, competing for more than $3 million in grants, scholarships and cash prizes.
“Our goal with the H&R Block Budget Challenge is to arm teens with the personal finance skills and confidence they need to succeed when they’re out on their own,” said Bill Cobb, H&R Block president and chief executive officer. “This program is an investment in all of our futures, and we couldn’t be more proud of the students who participated and excelled in this real world challenge.”
For more information on the H&R Block Budget Challenge and to see a full list of winners, please visit www.hrbds.org.