AUBURN — Five TRIO students at Central Maine Community College were honored recently as recipients of Next Generation Personal Finance Scholarships. The students participated in an online activity offered by NGPF called “Payback Challenge,” and then wrote an essay about how the activity generated dialog in their family about budgeting for college.

The recipients are Kayla Thayer of Auburn; Amber Lewis, Lewiston; Micayla Hill, Minot; Kelly Pinette, Brunswick; and William Rolfe, West Paris.

These students are the first collegiate recipients of this scholarship in the nation. While the “Payback Challenge” was originally conceived as a high school contest, NGPF officials reported that because of the strong case made by TRIO Advisor Jannie Durr that community college students would benefit from this program, they decided to select these five students from the TRIO program at CMCC.

The federal TRIO program focuses on assisting first-generation, low income, or disabled students to succeed in higher education. TRIO staff help students with academic advising, time and money management, financial aid, accessing college resources, and access to cultural enrichment opportunities.

NGPF is a free personal finance curriculum and professional development partner that helps educators deliver essential money understanding in an easy-to-grasp, engaging way. More information is available at www.ngpf.org.

Central Maine Community College recipients of Next Generation Personal Finance Scholarships are, from left, front row, Kayla Thayer of Auburn, Amber Lewis of Lewiston and Micayla Hill of Minot; and, in back, Kelly Pinette of Brunswick and William Rolfe of West Paris.