All junior students at Marian Catholic, Tamaqua, recently participated in the 2010 National Financial Capability Challenge offered through the NFCC Team at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and U.S. Department of Education.

The following students scored in the top 20 percentile nationwide: Chris B. Barletta, Evan M. Bellizia, Brandon Dopira, Kolton J. Heckman, Gino J. Kociolek (perfect score, 100%), Jessica L. McKinley, Joseph R. Meier, Emily R. Nerino, Michael F. Nesgoda, Connor P. Schleicher, Victoria Vadyak, and Michael Wesner.

Certificates of recognition were presented to these students.

The Challenge was taken by more than 76,000 high school students between March 15 and April 9. Participants included students in rural areas, suburbs, and inner cities across the country, and in Department of Defense schools around the world. The average student score was 70 percent.

In today's economic times, increasing the financial knowledge and skills of American youth is critical to their futures and to the future financial stability of our country. All junior students at Marian Catholic are enrolled in the Career and Financial Management class where they are first introduced to topics geared toward assisting them with their college decision information.

After preliminary decisions are made, financial information imperative to their survival in the financial world is taught, including how a payroll check is calculated, filling in personal income tax returns, opening and maintaining a checkbook, including online checking, saving for short term and long term wants, using credit wisely and an introduction to various types of insurances.

The class is offered as a one semester class.