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Young Investors Society At-Risk Schools Initiative

Our Purpose:

Our goal is to give High School students the opportunity to learn life-changing habits to save and invest for the future. Our objective is to expand the reach of our financial literacy program to 300 schools by July 2019. We successfully piloted the program to 6 schools in 2015 and added 46 more in 2016, to total 52 schools.  Our program has now reached over 150 schools across the United States, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. We continue to grow our program across the U.S. and are expanding into underserved communities. Our goal is to end the cycle of poverty in these communities by empowering the youth to take an active role in their financial future.

Our curriculum was written by investors representing the biggest names in the industry and professors at Harvard, Wharton, Fidelity, UCLA, BYU and Pepperdine. We teach many valuable concepts including accounting, ethics, economics, psychology, mathematics, business strategy and entrepreneurship all in an after-school club setting that is fun and engaging for students. We have recently partnered with the National Financial Educators Council to provide personal finance curriculum to our At-Risk students that is comprised of lessons in Financial Psychology, Budgeting, Account Management, Credit Profile, Loans & Debt, Jobs & Careers, Entrepreneurship, Saving, and Investing.

Our lessons are comprised of online interactive activities, engaging presentations and curriculum support videos along with peer-led activities focused on financial literacy lessons that emphasize the importance of saving and investing for the future.  You can see a sample curriculum support video here: https://youtu.be/xyD03G4oLzw

Problem:

Two-thirds of High School students fail a basic financial literacy test (JumpStart).

Most schools do not have financial literacy programs. Just recently, 39 states have adopted financial literacy standards as part of the Common Core. The schools that have an investment curriculum tend to use short-term mock portfolios that emphasize poor investment habits.

1 in 3 Americans has $0 saved for retirement (GoBankingRates).

56% of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement (GoBankingRates).

76% of college students wish they had more help to prepare for their financial futures (KeyBank).

Goals:

Our goal is to give low income, minority, and at-risk High School students the opportunity to learn life-changing habits to save and invest for their future through our YIS after-school financial literacy club. The target audience is low-income, minority, and at-risk high school students in grades 9-12.

Young Investors Society has recently partnered with The World of Money (a non-profit organization) to bring financial literacy to underserved communities, minorities, and at-risk students who may not have otherwise been introduced to YIS.

Ÿ Our objective is to expand the reach of our financial literacy program to 20 at-risk schools by July 2019. YIS currently serves 13 identified At-Risk Schools.

Ÿ Increase participation in Stock Pitch Competition by 20 teams from low income, at-risk schools.

Our Program:

Young Investors Society is an after-school club that teaches financial literacy through stock market programs that emphasize long-term, fundamental investing principles.

School Sponsored Clubs: YIS will teach students to create life-changing habits to save and invest for their future in a fun team environment. Teacher-guided and student-led activities are conducted weekly in 45-minute increments after school or at lunch on high school campus locations. Each local chapter will learn the fundamentals of saving and investing, compete with other YIS students using the MyYIS Portfolio, gain leadership experience and learn many life lessons (e.g. hard work, patience, teamwork, etc…) We teach many valuable concepts including accounting, ethics, economics, psychology, mathematics, business strategy, and entrepreneurship. Our lessons are comprised of online interactive activities, engaging presentations and curriculum support videos along with peer-led activities focused on financial literacy lessons that emphasize the importance of saving and investing for the future.

National Stock Pitch Competition: This competition is the culmination of investment skills gained during the year and provides High School students hands-on mentoring in financial analysis. Students (individually or in teams of two) create a “best stock idea” and analyze a publicly traded company. Each student/team writes a report on their chosen company with a “Buy” or “Sell” recommendation and then defends their analysis in a written report and brief to a panel of University Professors and Industry Professionals.  The winner from each state competition advances to the national competition, where one team emerges as national champion.  Local, state and national competitions occur in April-May every year. The competition rewards long-term, original business analysis, and presentation skills.

“Dollar-a-Day” Challenge: YIS students can begin to invest one dollar per day into a personal brokerage account. Students learn the power of compound interest and start to actively save for retirement. Students can also compete for a FREE Money Match Scholarship by submitting a brief essay. 50 YIS students will receive a grant that matches their contributions dollar for dollar on a quarterly basis up to the number of days in the quarter. This program helps students develop the lifetime habit of saving and investing for retirement as well as to understand the value of long-term decisions.

Community Service:  Members of local Young Investors Societies are encouraged to complete an annual service project and get involved in helping the community around them. This year, our goal is to connect with a national organization so that all YIS students can actively participate in a shared community service project.

CYIA® Designation: In the Summer of 2018, YIS launched the Certified Youth Investment Analyst Designation for students who meet community service hour criteria, teacher recommendations, GPA criteria, and of course a timed test which will culminate questions from our Stock Pitch 101 book and the Essays of Warren Buffett.

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