ACEE Sparks Financial Fire: Statewide Personal Finance and Economics Challenges Triumph

Personal Finance Challenge and Economics Challenge logos with a photo of girls dressed professionally.

ACEE proudly announces the successful conclusion of the state’s premier academic event, the Arizona Personal Finance Challenge and Economics Challenge.

We are deeply grateful for the support of our community and extend special thanks to Voya Financial for their role as the Presenting Sponsor.”

Arizona Council on Economic Education (ACEE) proudly announces the successful conclusion of the state’s premier academic event, the Arizona Personal Finance Challenge and Economics Challenge. This groundbreaking competition drew eager junior high and high school students from every corner of the state, converging on Red Mountain Mesa Community College, for an exhilarating display of personal financial acumen and economic prowess.

Against the backdrop of big yellow buses arriving at 8am, with students dressed in their finest professional suits, the competition saw an impressive 1,100 student participation, a 35% increase compared to previous years. ACEE stands at the forefront, integrating personal finance and economic education forging meaningful connections with students.

The competition unfolded across three rounds, beginning with an online test of knowledge, and culminating in a gripping finale where top-performing teams presented case studies to volunteer industry experts. The atmosphere crackled with excitement and strategies unfolded showcasing the unyielding dedication and enthusiasm of Arizona’s brightest minds. Shreyasi, a 12th grader, reflected, “I had a great time exhibiting my knowledge and I loved learning about intricacies within finance which I can leverage within my own life.”

First-place competition winners hailed from across the state, including five schools participating for the first time. Remarkably, one rookie team clinched 1st place in one of the competitions, showcasing the depth of talent emerging in Arizona’s academic landscape. Four teams will now represent Arizona in national competitions: Kofa High School in Yuma and Hamilton High School in Chandler will travel to the National Personal Finance Challenge at the Cleveland Federal Reserve. State champion teams from Basis Mesa and Hamilton High School will travel to the National Economics Challenge in New York City.

Elena Zee, President/CEO of ACEE, expressed profound gratitude for the overwhelming support and engagement from schools statewide. “In the decade since ACEE launched the Economics Challenge and Personal Finance Challenge, we have never witnessed such extraordinary enthusiasm and engagement from schools across the Grand Canyon State,” said Zee. “We are deeply grateful for the support of our community and extend special thanks to Voya Financial for their role as the Presenting Sponsor, and Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona, and Mesa Community College for their partnership..”

“Not only did students at the Challenges represent the diverse backgrounds of Arizona families, but they also shared different visions for their own futures,” Braeden Mayrisch, VP, equity and impact at Voya Financial, added. “We are grateful to the ACEE for preparing students for their financial future and teaching them that personal finance is a vital skill for any career aspiration. We look forward to seeing the winners at the Federal Reserve in May.”

The Arizona Personal Finance Challenge and Economics Challenge inspires a new generation of leaders passionate about financial literacy and economic empowerment. “Everyone is outstanding, and I deeply appreciate this organization, its mission, and the way it operates, particularly its openness to feedback,” stated Mr. Thorson, a teacher at BASIS Mesa.

ABOUT ARIZONA COUNCIL ON ECONOMIC EDUCATION The Arizona Council on Economic Education (ACEE) is a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to economic and financial literacy and workforce development in Arizona. ACEE is the only statewide organization in Arizona which serves public, charter, tribal, home, private, and juvenile detention schools; has a strong, affiliated academic base with universities and community colleges; partners with the Arizona Department of Education and the Federal Reserve Bank; and prepares teachers in teaching and students in learning personal finance, economics and career readiness skills.