Alternative school students surpass traditional school peers in JA Stock Market Challenge

Centennial High School students with trophy at Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge

At the Northern Colorado JA Stock Market Challenge, an enthusiastic and driven group of teens from Centennial High School defied all stereotypes and misconceptions of “alternative school kids” by taking home the first place trophy. Centennial High School fosters a unique setting for a diverse range of non-traditional learners who might not have the opportunity to earn a diploma otherwise.

JA-Rocky Mountain’s Northern Colorado and Wyoming district office hosted JA Stock Market Challenge in Fort Collins with 680 student participants. In an exciting competition and simulation of the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, students learn the ins and outs of investing and finances in a collaborative environment. Schools are not charged to participate thanks to support from JA supporters such as ACM LLP & ACM Wealth Solutions, Flood & Peterson Insurance, OtterProducts, and Soukup, Bush & Associates.

JA Stock Market Challenge was a perfect environment for Centennial High School students to leverage their ability to overcome adversity and rely on their community for support. They thrived in the competition and credit their success to dedication and teamwork.

“We all trusted each other. We made sure that we were confident in everybody’s decisions. It wasn’t just one person making the shots – we all did it together,” said Brooke, a Centennial High School senior.

Centennial High School students cheering at Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge

Her teammate Emily agreed. “Centennial is such a small school, so we all know each other, we all have close relationships, which made it easy to communicate with our whole team. This was a good way to help with our reputation too.”

Cassidy Montoya, who teaches personal finance and economics at Centennial High School, was elated and overwhelmed with emotion when the winners were announced.

“This event teaches them that if you stick with something and you’re passionate and dedicated, the rewards will follow. You have a team and you aren’t in it alone, Montoya says. “The impact, especially for our school, is they learn that if they stick together and rely on their synergy, they’re going to come out as winners whether they get a trophy or not.”

View event photos | Read about JA Stock Market Challenge in Denver, presented by Wells Fargo