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State Champions in IL Personal Finance Challenge

West Chicago Community High School students Jeremy Belingon (senior, West Chicago), Emily Pietura (senior, West Chicago), Connor Thompson (senior, Winfield), and Michael Sawicki (senior, Carol Stream) are state champions in the Illinois Personal Finance Challenge held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on April 25, 2018. This is the second time Belingon and Sawicki have won this title.

Under the guidance of their coach, Economics teacher Candace Fikis, the team will compete at nationals at the University of Nebraska on May 10 and 11, 2018.  The national competition will feature multiple rounds of challenges for students to solve. After two rounds of individual tests, the team will be presented with a personal finance case study to determine how they would solve the situation and then defend their position to a financial expert. The last round is a team test to determine the top 2 teams, who will advance to a head-to-head quiz bowl competition for the national championship.

All students in Illinois are required to take a consumer education/personal finance course. The Illinois Personal Finance Challenge (IPFC) program provides a fun and competitive way to engage these students more fully in their learning, while assessing how well they are meeting the state mandate. IPFC is a program of Econ Illinois, a provider of economics and personal finance support for K-12 schools in Illinois. IPFC is designed to recognize students who demonstrate high levels of comprehension and application of personal finance concepts and skills, and reward teachers for outstanding practices in teaching personal finance courses.

For more information about the Illinois Personal Finance Challenge, visit

IL Personal Finance Challenge 2018

West Chicago Community High School teacher and sponsor Candace Fikis joins Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs to congratulate IL Personal Finance Challenge first place winners (from left) Jeremy Belingon, Connor Thompson, Michael Sawicki, and Emily Pietura.