Many teens enjoy raising funds for nonprofit organizations, but 16-year old Payton Park wants to manage those funds! This exceptional sophomore from St. Mary’s High School in Dell Rapids, S.D., channeled his inner financial advisor to create an investment plan for the World Food Program and become the South Dakota first-place winner of SIFMA (Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association) Foundation’s Fall 2017 InvestWrite® competition. Park’s remarkable essay on how to help a nonprofit organization manage its assets for maximum short- and long-term sustainability has positioned him at the top of thousands of students competing nationwide. Should he ever wish to manage his own nonprofit organization, Park has the financials figured out!
Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, the SIFMA Foundation’s acclaimed national financial capability programs engage 600,000 students and 15,000 educators annually with proven impacts in raising students’ math, economics and personal finance test scores and, through InvestWrite, their language arts and writing skills. The 4th-12th graders nationwide who compete each year are reinforcing what they have learned in The Stock Market Game™ an online simulation of the global capital markets that reinforces STEM learning, 21st Century skills, economics, investing and personal finance. Through InvestWrite, students are, in fact, building on what they have learned through their participation in The Stock Market Game, which has reached more than 17 million students since its inception in 1977.
InvestWrite enables students to develop the personal financial savvy needed to make practical financial decisions with confidence and gain a deeper understanding of economic opportunities, consequences, and benefits. Students consider real-world events and news, conduct research online, and develop investment recommendations. They work in groups during The Stock Market Game program and then write their InvestWrite essays individually to reflect their critical thinking, analysis and creative talents.
"SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game and InvestWrite are transformative programs that prepare students for college, career and life while teaching them about the capital markets and investing,” said Melanie Mortimer, President of the SIFMA Foundation. “Our students do measurably better on math, economics and personal finance tests. They also learn to work in teams, manage change, understand the impact of global economic activity, and become smart consumers ready for financial independence.”
Since InvestWrite was introduced in 2004, more than 215,000 students have submitted essays. Payton Park is among the 20,000 participants each year in InvestWrite, which bridges classroom learning in mathematics, social studies, and language arts with the practical research and knowledge required for long-term personal financial planning.
An independent, double-blind, nationally randomized evaluation conducted by Learning Point Associates (now AIR) found that The Stock Market Game improves students’ academic achievement and personal financial behavior. Students who participated in the SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game scored significantly higher on mathematics and financial literacy tests than their peers who did not participate. They also found that teachers who taught The Stock Market Game reported that the program motivated them to better plan for their own financial futures. The Stock Market Game has been named the only program that successfully increased scores on the Jumpstart Coalition’s test of high school students’ financial literacy.
The Stock Market Game and InvestWrite are offered in South Dakota through the Center for Economic Education at Black Hills State University. “We honor and congratulate our InvestWrite winning student, Payton Park and his teacher, Amanda Geraets” said Donald Altmyer, Center Director & South Dakota Stock Market Game Coordinator. “Helping South Dakota students better understand our economy, our markets, the role of investors, and how to make good investments will pay dividends for the students, their education, and the South Dakota economy.”
The South Dakota Stock Market Game is sponsored by the Black Hills State University Center for Economic Education, the Securities Industry Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and the South Dakota Council on Economic Education. For more information on the program or the webinars, contact Professor Don Altmyer, SDSMG Coordinator at donaltmyer@BHSU.edu or 605-642-6266.