PAYBACK nets real dividends.


What Happened: Will Gibson, sophomore, received an Honorable Mention Award in the third annual PAYBACK Challenge. The PAYBACK challenge consists of a 250 word essay answering one of these questions. “Write a letter to your future self, that you will open after your freshman year of college, reminding you of the key skills you will need to thrive during your college years.” OR “How could you use the online game, PAYBACK, to have a conversation with your parent/guardian about paying for college?”  Out of 900 entrants nationally, Gibson and Mikayla Lawrence of Gulfport were the only 2 in the state of Mississippi who won.

Key Players: Will Gibson and Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF), a non-profit committed to ensuring that ALL students leave high school with the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly complex financial world.

They said it: “It was very surprising when I won. I didn’t think I would have,” Will Gibson said.

“Over 200,000 students played PAYBACK during the contest period,” noted NGPF cofounder, Tim Ranzetta. “It was great to see the impact this game had on students’ attitudes and actions as they decide on their educational path after high school.”

Key moment:. Winning scholarship. Gibson won a $500 scholarship in this essay competition.

Up next: Will Gibson plans to continue his education at Mississippi State University and major in engineering after graduating from Tupelo High School.