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Auditor General Timothy L. DeFoor and Harrisburg University of Science and Technology President Dr. Eric Darr today announced the winners of a statewide financial literacy competition for students in Grades 7-12.

“The contest winners understand that it’s never too early to start learning how to be smart with your money, and it’s one of the most important life skills you can learn in order to achieve future financial success,” DeFoor said, noting that April is Financial Literacy Month.

The top three winners were selected by a panel of judges from 36 entrants who submitted poems, essays or short videos on the theme, “What Does Financial Literacy Mean to Me?” The winners are:

  • First Place ($1,500 prize): Malachi Wood, 8th Grade, Nanty Glo, Cambria County (homeschool).
  • Second Place ($1,000 prize): Andrea Guiher, 11th Grade, East Berlin, Adams County (Bermudian Springs School District).
  • Third Place ($750 prize): Danneil Mubbala, 12th Grade, Lower Paxton, Dauphin County (Central Dauphin School District).

“We were excited to see the quality of the submissions,” said Harrisburg University President Dr. Eric Darr. “Congratulations to our winners and their families, as well as all those who participated, for appreciating the importance of financial literacy.”

The panel of judges included Auditor General DeFoor; state Treasurer Stacy Garrity; Ryan Unger, President and CEO of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and CREDC; and Alex Halper of the PA Chamber of Business and Industry.

This was the ninth year that Harrisburg University has organized this competition, but the first year the Department of the Auditor General partnered on the initiative. Monetary prizes were provided by Harrisburg University; no taxpayer funds were used.

As Pennsylvania’s top taxpayer advocate, Auditor General DeFoor has made improving financial literacy a key goal of his administration. He launched the Be Money Smart initiative to emphasize the need for financial literacy and highlight resources people can use to strengthen their personal financial security. Learn more about the Department of the Auditor General online at


Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Harrisburg University is a private nonprofit university offering bachelor and graduate degree programs in science, technology, and math fields to a diverse student body. For more information on the University’s affordable demand-driven undergraduate and graduate programs, call 717.901.5146 or email,