CHAPEL HILL, TX (KLTV) - A Chapel Hill student will advance to the national level after being selected as a winner of a stock market-driven essay contest.
Jonathan Wages, a senior at Chapel Hill, wrote an Essay for the Texas InvestWrite Competition which included his plan to have a non-profit organization invest in solar panel technology, slot machines and alcohol.
InvestWrite is a national writing competition organized by the SIFMA Foundation, a New York-based national educational non-profit organization that works to help students expand their financial literacy.
Students write a prompted essay showing what they learned while participating in the SIFMA Foundation's Stock Market Game, a national program that allows students to work in teams to invest a virtual $100,000 in common stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETF's over a three month period.
This year's prompt asked students to imagine they managed the money for a nonprofit organization and develop an investment strategy that includes stocks, bonds, and mutual funds which would help the nonprofit continue to thrive five years down the road.
Wages says he wanted to think of a strategy that no other student would write about, thus came his idea for the American Red Cross to invest in the Scientific Gaming Corporation, which builds slot machines, and Anheuser Busch.
"I know it sounds crazy," says Wages. "But they are two major corporations, and regardless of morals or what some people believe, they are not going away. So I figured the Red Cross might as well use that high revenue and the high dividends to their advantage to help people in need."
The board of professional bankers who volunteer to judge the essays seemed to agree; they selected Wages as the high school level winner among 4,000 students throughout the state of Texas whose essays were submitted in the fall of 2017.
Wages' essay will now go on to compete against other submissions from around the country. If selected as the national winner, Wages and his AP Economics teacher, who helped him through the process, will win a trip to the New York Stock Exchange.
That is a prospect Wages says he's very excited about.