Brianda Resendez, Sharyland High School Junior, Received a $500 Award as a National Honorable Mention Winner in the Next Gen Personal Finance Essay Contest. She was one of only 2 students from the state of Texas to receive this honor. Only 100 students nationally earned the monetary award. Brianda wrote an essay after playing the game PAYBACK, Webby Award for Best Social Impact Game. The essay focused on the following prompt: What steps can you take NOW in order to complete college with as little debt as possible?

Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF), a non-profit, is committed to ensuring that ALL students leave high school with the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly complex financial world. The essay contest attracted over 800 submissions from across the nation. Classroom teachers nominated the best student essay. NGPF staff then reviewed the essays, judging them based on the following criteria: Prompt is clearly addressed; essay indicates an understanding of key concepts learned by playing the game PAYBACK; thoughts are well-articulated in a creative way; and students adhere to the 250-word limit.