Students at AITE are ready to play the “Stock Market Game.”
“It’s basically a contest that is run by an organization called SIFMA with the cooperation of other businesses and with the cooperation of guys like me who work in the Capitol to try to teach young people financial literacy,” says Himes.
The 14-week nation-wide competition, known as the Capitol Hill Challenge, gives students the opportunity to invest a hypothetical $100,000 to try and make a profit. Over 500 members of Congress are paired with participating schools, and Congressman Jim Himes is team AITE. Himes made a visit to the school Thursday to speak with participating students.
“We were here talking about investing n the stock market, which is pretty advanced financial literacy, but really to make sure kids are focused on things like how do you handle credit card debt…the importance of saving money, the importance of thinking intelligently about how you save money,” Himes says.
One participating junior says Himes’ visit inspired her to really go for it. She says the Congressman gave her real-world insight about how the stock market and economy affect one another.
“Definitely what he said about taking risks because we are always learning about that with Mr. Milo in my business class and about how the stock market is just faith, you can’t really have a guarantee that it’s going to go well,” says junior Matuscha Precil.
The stock market wasn’t the only thing on students’ minds Thursday, as the discussion veered off into other topics.
“Questions about gun safety, questions about marijuana legalization,” says Himes. “It’s fun for me; whatever the question is about, when young people are engaged and interested and ask questions and have opinions, whatever those opinions are, I get pretty excited.”
“He was very clear about what he stood for and I appreciated that from him because we got to hear from him what he actually thought of the topics,” says Precil. “And he didn’t try to evade everything, anything, so that was nice.”
“Listening to the quality of the questions we had today, these are enormously smart young people so I actually think AITE is probably going to do very very well in this challenge,” Himes says.
If AITE finishes as one of the top ten teams, the students will win a trip to Washington D.C. for an awards ceremony.