On Tuesday, we showed you the first half of the 2019 Youth Innovative Challenge, which is an initiative to teach young students financial literacy. 15 schools competed in this challenge, and Love News caught up with one of the judges to find out how the winner would be chosen.
Mark Menzies, HR Manager at HRCU, Judge: “This competition is about financial literacy and that is what HRCU is about. We teach financial literacy to all our member-owners and we are here doing it with the young minds of fifteen high schools throughout the district of Belize. “
Reporter: “And does HRCU participate every year?
Mark Menzies, HR Manager at HRCU, Judge: “Yes, we are a sponsor and we also give prizes.”
Reporter: “So as a judge what kind of rubric do you look at while you are judging the students?”
Mark Menzies, HR Manager at HRCU, Judge: “We looked at professionalism, innovativeness and how they present. There are a lot of young people who presented well but some of them the information was not well put together. “
Though all the students that participated performed well, there could only be one winner. That title went to the team from Ocean Academy, who have participated for 5 out of 6 years, and have won twice before today.
Lupita Aldana – Junior at Ocean Academy: “Our idea was a website on an app including a youtube channel. The website is to help students become financially literate but not only students anybody in general.”
Daniela Novelo – Junior at Ocean Academy: “We have multiple stages within our solution, not only is it a website and app, it is curriculum based. We are also partnering with the CCB BTIA to hold one of the first finance events in Caye Caulker so we can spread it across to adults who aren’t very techy and then we also a youth on youth advisor where we are training trainers. We are inviting other high schools to bring down their students so that we can train them so they can take it to their schools to increase the knowledge countrywide. All of us at Ocean Academy have some kind of financial issue and if we have a website or something that is of this generation it could help a lot of families, that was one of our main targets. In the presentation we said Belizean youth students are %24 percent of our population but they are 100% of our future so we need to attend to their needs. I feel really good and proud because each one them put so much effort into it and I am glad it paid off, I am really proud.
Vincent Sotz – Junior at Ocean Academy: “We couldn’t have done it without our principal, the faculty, a teacher that helped us and motivated us through the whole process which is Ms. Janelle Cayetano and the whole Ocean Academy.
They went home with $750 each. St. Catherine’s Academy, who won second place, received $500 each, and the third place winners, Edward P. Yorke, went home with $250 each. The students from these 3 schools also won a tablet each and a laptop for their school.