Amber Holmes, a student at Erskine Academy in South China, has been named the Maine recipient of the National Grand Prize Award in Next Gen Personal Finance’s second annual Payback Challenge, according to a news release from Next Gen.

Holmes is one of 12 students to receive this $5,000 award to be used for educational purposes.

More than 800 students from across the United States submitted essays earlier last fall. After playing the award-winning college finance game, Payback, students wrote a 250-word essay answering one of these questions:

• How has the Payback game changed your perspective on the real-life decisions you will make when paying for college?


• What steps can you take now in order to complete college with as little debt as possible?

Here’s an excerpt from Holmes’ essay, according to the release:

“Impulsive spending is a black hole that everyone has fallen down … Frugality is an important practice to instill upon yourself in order to avoid being nearly crushed to death in piles of student debt.”

The Palo Alto, Calif., nonprofit is committed to ensuring that all students leave high school with the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly complex financial world.

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