BUFFALO, N.Y. – Students from Dunkirk, West Seneca West
and John F. Kennedy high schools beat out nearly 700 registered
competitors to finish in the top three for MoneySKILL Mania®,
an in-school financial literacy competition sponsored by the
University at Buffalo School of Management and M&T Bank.
The results coincided with President Barack Obama’s recent
designation of April as National Financial Capability Month to
encourage greater financial literacy.
Samantha Sullivan from Dunkirk High School won an Apple iPad as
the top scoring student from all schools.
Aaron Davis from West Seneca West and Ryan Galazka from JFK both
nabbed a $250 prize for taking second and third place,
The highest scoring student from each of the other participating
schools won a $50 Amazon gift card.
Now in its seventh year, MoneySKILL Mania was designed to
increase awareness of MoneySKILL, a free, interactive online
curriculum offered by the American Financial Services Association
Education Foundation to educate students on a variety of financial
issues, including income, money management, credit, investing and
“We are thrilled to have reached a record number of
participants this year with MoneySKILL Mania,” says Cynthia
Shore, senior assistant dean and director of alumni and external
relations at the UB School of Management. “Learning these
everyday concepts at a young age is very important because many
people, even as adults, struggle with managing their own
During the competition, students at high schools across the area
were quizzed on a range of financial topics, including income,
budgeting, interest, mortgages, stocks, bonds, bankruptcy and
recent economic news.
Teachers for the top three students each received a $100 gift
certificate for the UB Center for the Arts. The winning educators
were Alan Buckley from Dunkirk High School, Colleen Christman from
West Seneca West and Tony Krupski from JFK.
“All students can benefit from learning the basics of
personal finance so they’re prepared to make good financial
choices in life,” says Kathy Hochul, group vice president of
government relations for M&T Bank. “MoneySKILL Mania is a
fun, interactive way for students to learn, so we think all these
students have won by learning a little more about the basics of
budgeting and handling money.”
In financial literacy studies, teenagers consistently
demonstrate a poor understanding of personal finances, according to
the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. In the
organization’s latest survey, for example, high school
seniors only answered 48.3 percent of the questions correctly.
For this reason, M&T Bank and the UB School of Management
have partnered since 2006 to provide outreach, teacher training and
the MoneySKILL Mania competition in an effort to help Western New
York high school students improve their financial literacy. Since
then, more than 300 teachers from 125 schools throughout the region
have registered to use the MoneySKILL program.
This year, 21 public, private and charter schools registered to
compete in MoneySKILL Mania: Alden High School, Bennett High
School, Bolivar-Richburg Junior-Senior High School,
Cattaraugus-Little Valley High School, Clarence High School,
Cleveland Hill High School, Dunkirk High School, Erie 1 BOCES
Harkness Career and Technical Center, Erie 1 BOCES Kenton Career
and Technical Center, Fredonia High School, Frederick Law Olmsted
School, Frewsburg Junior-Senior High School, Global Concepts
Charter School, Hamburg High School, Iroquois High School, John F.
Kennedy High School, Orchard Park High School, Pembroke High
School, Scio Central School, West Seneca East Senior High School
and West Seneca West Senior High School.
Founded in 1856, M&T Bank Corp. is one of the 20 largest
U.S. commercial bank holding companies, with more than 700 branch
offices and 1,500 ATMs in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland,
Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. More
information is available at mtb.com.
The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on
real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global
perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also
has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times,
Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its
programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates.
For more information about the UB School of Management, visit mgt.buffalo.edu.