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WOS team take on Stock Market Challenge

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

 

Financial Literacy Month took on a new meaning for four students at West Orange Stark High School.

The United States has recognized April as Financial Literacy Month since 2003 and this year for the first time since the start of Congressional Stock Market Challenge, a team of four from the high school is participating in the challenge.

“Each congressional office selects two schools in their district to participate,” Ivory Roberts founder of Young Financial Wizards, said. “Congressman Babin already selected two schools. The students are participating under Senator Cruz.”

Young Financial Wizards, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) Financial and Investing organization for 7th thru 9th grade students.

“I was told this was a big deal,” Paul Ivory, 11 grade student, said. “Once a week we would make trades and discovered it ties into a lot about Orange and the environment. We learned about the industries and seeing them invest back into us and our community.”

”We selected Conoco Phillips because they are in the forefront for alternative fuel,” Jayz’n Robinson, 10 grade, said.

How the stock market, the economy and the environment connected together is just part of the learning experience for the students.

“We started checking stocks on our phones throughout the day and talked about stocks,” Ivory said. “We are more informed and enlightened now.”

Ivory Roberts said he found out about the challenge the Friday before the Monday deadline.

“It started on a Monday and on the Friday before I was told about it,” Roberts said. “I was not sure we would be able to get registered in time. This is a great opportunity for the students. Everyone knows WO-S football, this is an opportunity to show the academic side.”

Johnathan Evans, of Morgan Stanly in Houston, spoke to the team about the differences between stocks and bonds as well as some of the types of things to watch in the market long term.

“I commend everyone involved for the opportunity given to these young men,” City of Orange Mayor Jimmy Sims said. “To be involved in something like this is just outstanding. I would have loved to have had this opportunity 48 years ago when I was in high school. This is something you can take way down the road with you.”

Ivory Roberts also said the students will be on the trading floor of Wall Street for the opening bell on May 15.