Hoover High 1st Place SMC 2023

First place team from Hoover High School

In an exciting, fast-paced stock market simulation, hundreds of high school students from across the region participated in the annual JA Stock Market Challenge. Students compete in teams to build the highest net worth mock portfolio over a simulated 60-day trading period in the stock market.

For the second year in a row, Hoover High won first place. Hoover High additionally placed third and Lincoln High secured second place.

Students participated in several weeks of curriculum on investing and the stock market to prepare for the competition. At the event, they put their knowledge to the test and got hands-on practice investing in the stock market.

“I think it’s important to spark that fire and give them some practical hands-on experience. Ninety percent of my students are low-income. They’re interested in how they’re going to make income if they’re not college bound. A lot of them really tune in when I talk about portfolios and passive income and how to build wealth,” said Hoover High teacher Valerie Woodfill. “I think it’s really important to show them how they can create wealth for themselves. It gives them other options and it gives them more opportunity.”

Through the JA Stock Market Challenge experience, students understand the fundamentals of the stock market. They are given the tools and knowledge to begin investing with any investment contribution size. Students learn how to develop long-term investment strategies and make informed investing decisions by listening to the news, conducting market analysis, and avoiding impulsive trade decisions.

“I learned that being smart about investing makes you the most money over the long run,” said Hoover High sophomore Mia.

In addition to their newfound investment knowledge, students develop their soft skills such as teamwork and communication through the simulation experience. They gain the tools that will help them, not just with their finances, but also help them grow professionally.

“It really helped me develop my leadership skills and gave me more confidence,” said Lincoln High student junior Anthony recalling how his team collaborated to make investment decisions during the challenge. “It was a good experience because we each had different roles and had to work together to see what the best path was.”

JA Stock Market Challenge is a unique program that enables students to experience how to invest in the stock market through hands-on, interactive learning while developing the skills and mindset needed to thrive in all areas of their lives. It builds the foundational knowledge for students to understand how they can build wealth and achieve future success.

JA Stock Market Challenge will return again next spring. For more information on this program, visit our programs page.