Taking Stock in the JA Stock Market Challenge

Another year, another round of fast-paced excitement at the   JA-Stock Market Challenge! Thanks to financial and volunteer support from the business community, more than 1,200 local area students competed in a highly interactive stock market simulation, which challenges student teams to manage and grow a fake portfolio worth $500,000.  Trading is fast and furious because every trading day is only 60 seconds long, which creates the same urgency and intensity investors experience on the floor of a real stock exchange.

While the goal is to help students gain a greater financial acumen and understanding of our market based economy, the impact expands well-beyond a field trip. Many students and volunteers have shared this observation. One individual in particular who voiced his thoughts about the impact of this learning experience is JA alum, and now volunteer, Darryl Lim.

In 2018, while attending Colorado Early College (CEC) in Parker and studying economics and finance, Darryl Lim stumbled upon what appeared to be an interesting hands-on stock market simulation that might be of interest to his classmates. Lim suggested the program to his instructor who supported his interest in participating, as long as Lim organized the logistics. Shortly thereafter, Lim had recruited fellow students to join his team, and was ready to attend and compete at the JA Stock Market Challenge.

Leading up to the event, Darryl made sure to do his “homework” and research everything about the event. It didn’t take long for the class to realize that this was indeed a “challenge,” in that they had “no idea the event would be so fast paced.” Looking back on his student experience Darryl offered the following advice to students, “As a team you need to have plan, be able to adapt, and work as a team!” Sound advice for competing in the JA Stock Market Challenge, as well as an-ever changing global economy.

Now employed with Ernst Young (EY), Darryl volunteers for JA – most recently at the JA Stock Market Challenge corporate event, which raises money to ensure students can participate at no cost. Compared to his student experience, Lim appreciated how “fun it was to help out and gain a different perspective of the event.”

Like so many JA alumni, his thoughts about JA and its value remain the same.  JA programs are vital in preparing young people to succeed. Reflecting on what JA means to him, Darryl states JA creates “unique applied learning experiences. Learning is the best, when it’s fun.” When I was a student, and didn’t have any job experience, JA was a springboard for job interviews. As I reflect on what I learned through JA, I often ask, ‘How can I help other students?’”