KANSAS CITY, MO, May 03, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- In a face-off of financial wits, 16 teams of high school students from across the country battled for more than $50,000 in college scholarships during the finals of the H&R Block Dollars & Sense National Challenge. Held May 1-2 in Orlando, competitors navigated an avatar through multiple financial situations to demonstrate their financial acumen and accumulate virtual wealth in a program created to increase teens' personal finance skills.
Pradyut Paul, Tejas Shekhar and Kenny Joseph from Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, Illinois won first place and each received a $10,000 scholarship. The Illinois team's avatar accumulated $88,386 to win the double-elimination competition. Second place went to Kiara Hermandez and Mashlie Sanchez from Southwest Miami High School in Miami who each received a $5,000 scholarship. And $2,000 scholarships will be awarded to Amit Kumar, Wayne Wong and Robin Wei from Glen Forest High School in Mississauga, Ontario who took third place.
"We worked hard and it paid off, thanks to H&R Block," said Pradyut Paul, a member of the first place team. "This is the best way to end our senior year."
Finalists competed against more than 3,500 student teams in two online challenge rounds to qualify for the national finals. Through Dollars & Sense, H&R Block has awarded more than $2 million in personal finance curriculum and scholarships to high schools and students nationwide since October 2009.
"We want teens to learn personal finance skills in a compelling way so they're better prepared when they're responsible for their own finances," said Kathy Collins, vice president of marketing for H&R Block. "Based on the performances of our National Challenge winners, we're confident they'll handle that responsibility well when the time comes and we're happy to reward their efforts with money for college in the meantime."
H&R Block Dollars & Sense was created to support local schools and help increase teens' financial fitness. To execute the challenge, H&R Block partnered with DECA and Knowledge Matters, two leaders in the education field. For more information about the program, visit www.hrblockdollarsandsense.com/viewourvision.
H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is one of the world's largest tax services providers, having prepared more than 550 million tax returns worldwide since 1955. In fiscal 2010, H&R Block had annual revenues of $3.9 billion and prepared more than 23 million tax returns worldwide utilizing more than 100,000 highly trained tax professionals. The Company provides tax return preparation services in person, through H&R Block At Home(TM) online and desktop software products, and through other channels. The Company is also one of the leading providers of business services through RSM McGladrey. For more information, visit our Online Press Center.
SOURCE: H & R Block