We're off!
The Money$peak program has launched and registration is now open! Join in the competition against teams from all over Mercer County. To begin, read the program guidelines, assemble your team and select your topic area. Then, REGISTER YOUR TEAM and begin developing your presentation!
Program Sponsors
The Mercadien Group


NJM Insurance
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how it works

Participants in the Mercadien Foundation Money$peak Competition develop and present a short lesson in one of ten provided topic areas of personal finance. The Money$peak Competition can be conducted in or out of school and through extracurricular educational programs in New Jersey. The competition is designed to encourage creative and educational presentations of personal finance topics.

The Rewards

Teams and the schools sending the team can win big! Team prizes are awarded directly to student as cash awards. School grants are sent with designation by personal finance teacher.

Team Prizes:

  • First prize: $1,500
  • Second prize: $1,000
  • Third prize: $500
  • Honorable mention (2): $250

  • School Grants:

  • First prize: $1,000
  • Second prize: $750
  • Third prize: $500
  • Honorable mention (2): $250
  • ​The process

    • The Money$peak Competition is a team-based competition.
    • Teams can be from one to six students.
    • Team presentations should be between three and five minutes in length and may include visual aids.
    • Presentations can take many forms: spoken, narrated, video, song, stand up comedy, rap, and others.
    • Qualifying competitions will take place in school (either during the school day or extracurricularly) or in other educational institutions or organizations. See your teacher or educational partner for event dates and details.
    • One team from each school or organization will advance to the final Money$peak Competition on May 23, 2018.

    ​who can participate

    The Mercadien Foundation Money$peak Competition is open to high school students in good standing, enrolled, in and attending high school (grades 9-12) in New Jersey.

    Each school must designate a communication liaison between the Mercadien Foundation and the teams. All team members must have active roles in the design, execution, and delivery of the presentation submitted for competition and must all have made a substantial contribution to the effort.

    Children of employees of The Mercadien Group or Rider University are not eligible to enter the competition.

    presentation eligibility

    Before beginning, teams must determine that their project is eligible for the competition. Then, register for the competition. Teams need to submit a Competition Application to become a participating team.

    Each team can submit only one presentation, including all of the materials set forth in these Competition Guidelines, either as an individual competitor or as a member of a team.

    Presentations that violate any laws, school or competition regulations, or that may potentially place any student, judge, or observer in danger are not eligible.

    Presentation details

    Each team will make a presentationn on a specific topic area of personal finance lasting between three and five minutes. The presentation does not need to be in any specific form, but creativity and innovative use of the team-selected presentation media make up 40% of the total assessment score. 

    Presentation styles may include everything from multimedia or video presentations to stand-up comedy routines and science-fair styled presentation boardss. The key to a successful presentation; connection the audience and judging panel to the team's selected topic area and providing a concrete and insightful lesson in a creative manner. Only approved visual aids may be used during the presentation.

    presentation topics

    Each team must select one of the following topic areas from which to base their presentation. These topics are to be used as general guidelines for your presentation, but do not necessarily describe all aspects of the specified topic area.

    Additional research, outside your educational coursework, into these topic areas may need to take place in order to fully understand the selected topic area. Creativity and performance make up 40% of the assessment criteria. The examples given may be used as a starting point, but assessment scores may benefit from creative interpretation of the topic areas.
    • Credit Cards and Debt
    • Career and Earnings
    • Taxes and Inflation
    • Interest
    • Credit
    • Mortgage
    • Investments
    • Fraud
    • Identity Theft (because this topic area has been selected often, the maximum creativity score is 15 for this topic area)
    • Insurance (because this topic area has been selected often, the maximum creativity score is 15 for this topic area) 

    Download the Topic Areas Worksheet to assist your team in digging deeper into these topic areas.


    Participants will demonstrate knowledge and skills developed to address the components of the project as described in the content and evaluation forms. Participants will also develop skills defined in the New Jersey Department of Education 21st Century Life Skills Curriculum, including:

    • Communication and Collaboration
    • Initiative and Self-direction
    • Leadership and Responsibility
    • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
    • Flexibility and Adaptability
    • Creativity and Innovation
    • Productivity and Accountability
    Academic integrity is a fundamental value of The Mercadien Foundation and the presentation. We expect the full presentation and all materials submitted to the competition to be your own work. If you are using text or images from someone else, you are expected to ensure that all facts, techniques, images, and information (including the Internet) are properly cited. It is not sufficient to simply modify the words of an original source. If you have used the essential idea, you must properly cite the source.
    The integrity of the project is the responsibility of the student team and sending organization. Violations of academic integrity will result in disqualification.
    Presentations are the property of the student teams. You agree to permit The Mercadien Foundation and Rider University to utilize and share the presentations, including any parts and any other documents or corroborating materials (in any form or medium) submitted to supplement the original presentation, with third parties as it deems appropriate in their respective sole discretion.

    By participating in the competition, the competitors agree to have their photos taken and used publicly and to have their names and images used publicly with respect to the competition. All participants and parents/guardians are required to sign a release form for use of images and materials presented in the competition.