Financially Savvy Teens Tout Skills in Money Bee

Release Date: March 14, 2012 This content is archived.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Teams from Harkness Career & Technical Center, Orchard Park High School and Starpoint High School placed first, second and third, respectively, in “MoneySKILL® Mania,” a financial literacy competition for high school students sponsored by the University at Buffalo School of Management and M&T Bank.

Keenan Hoover from Orchard Park High School was the highest scoring individual student and was awarded an Apple iPad 2. Aman Shamaa of Harkness Career & Technical Center was the second-highest scoring individual and James Willy of Clarence High School placed third.

Members of the first-place team, Nicholas Allen, Gia Roth and Aman Shamaa of Harkness Career & Technical Center, each received a $250 college savings fund. Student alternates Natalie Pelton and Kaylee Achman received $50 college savings funds.

Teachers Beverly Mintz of Harkness Career & Technical Center, Jim Agnew of Orchard Park High School and Fred Pieri of Star Point High School coached the winning teams.

Now in its fifth year, the event is designed to increase awareness of MoneySKILL, a free, interactive Internet curriculum designed to educate students to make informed decisions on a variety of personal finance issues, including income, money management, spending, credit, saving and investing.

“With the challenges of today’s economy, MoneySKILL is a great tool to help students in our community understand their finances,” said Cynthia Shore, senior assistant dean of alumni and external relations in the UB School of Management. “And today’s competition is an opportunity to celebrate all they’ve learned.”

Nearly 70 students participated, representing the following 14 private, public and charter high schools: Bennett High School, Bolivar-Richburg Central School, Clarence High School, Erie 1 BOCES Legal Academy, Hamburg High School, Harkness Career & Technical Center, Holy Angels Academy, Hutchinson Central Technical High School, Orchard Park High School, Sacred Heart Academy, Starpoint High School, West Seneca East Senior High School, West Seneca West Senior High School and Western New York Maritime Charter School.

“All the students are winners by taking the MoneySKILL curriculum because they learn important financial skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives,” said David Rutecki, administrative vice president for government banking at M&T Bank. “Educated consumers are more likely to make wise financial decisions.”

MoneySKILL was developed by Lewis Mandell, professor emeritus of finance and managerial economics in the UB School of Management, in collaboration with the American Financial Services Association Education Foundation.

Tests of the financial knowledge of teenagers consistently show poor performance. For example, in the latest Jump$tart Survey of Financial Literacy among High School Students, a survey of 12th graders, participants answered an average of only 48.3 percent of the test questions correctly. Over the past 10 years, scores have ranged from a high of 57 percent to the 2008 low of 48.3 percent—all within the range of a failing grade.

M&T Bank and the UB School of Management have partnered since 2006 to provide outreach and teacher training for MoneySKILL to help Western New York high school students improve their financial literacy.

M&T Bank Corporation, founded in 1856, is one of the top 20 commercial bank holding companies in the nation, with $78 billion in assets and more than 770 branch offices in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington D.C. More information is available at

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 has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report and The Wall Street Journal 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

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

Media Contact Information

Jacqueline Molik Ghosen
Assistant Dean and Director of Communications
School of Management