Teens from Florida, Michigan and Texas each took $20,000 college scholarships from H&R Block’s recent Budget Challenge high school competition.

Block awarded $100,000 in scholarships to acknowledge the budgeting, saving and investing skills of five students from the fall 2016 challenge.

During the 10-week learning program, students pay bills, manage expenses, save money, invest in retirement and pay taxes as if they were recent college graduates. One of the contest’s lesson plans covers understanding paychecks and taxes, including W-2s, W-4s and withholdings.

The winning students were Alexa Brutus and Trey Hawkins of Bradenton, Fla.; Billy Balfour of St. Clair, Mich.; and Micah Bong and Saad Khawajal of Sugar Land, Texas. More than 73,000 students competed.

H&R Block Budget Challenge winners
Alexa Brutus and Trey Hawkins of Bradenton, Fla., were among the recipients of $20,000 scholarships for their exemplary performance in the H&R Block Budget Challenge. H&R Block

Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson is a veteran freelance journalist who previously served as editor of The Practical Accountant.