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Stocks in the Future

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Philanthropy, Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations

Mission: Stocks in the future's mission is to enhance school performances through the teaching of financial life skills to middle school students needing motivation.

Target demographics: at-risk middle school students

Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 1,000 middle school students

Geographic areas served: Baltimore

Programs: a financial literacy curriculum and incentive program to encourage students to attend school regularly and improve academic performance.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Ian M.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My birthday is coming up in April and on Facebook I chose to dedicate my birthday and link it to Stocks in the future for donations. I’ve researched S.I.F. Pretty good and I feel amazing about the path and use that the already pledged donations will be utilized for. Thank you!

Review from Guidestar

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I got involved with Stock in the Future because I feel the organization is doing a valuable service to the community by increasing awareness of finance. Stocks in the Future is pushing a very unique objective in having students learn about finance and stock markets. In my numerous school room visits, its very apparent that both students and teachers are engaged in the program.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 4

Stocks in the Future has shaped students to become amazing thinkers. During one of my class visits, a student was asked the question: what would cause the cost of a bike to increase? The student suggested that the increase in the cost of rubber could increase the cost of tires, which would then increase the cost of the bike. The connection from the end product of the bike to the raw material shows extreme depth and engagement in the material. If the student is thinking this way in 7th grade, imagine what he could be doing out of college! Stocks in the Future not only helps prepare students for their futures financially but also academically. My wish is that more schools and students can be exposed to this program in subsequent years.

The impact of the program is backed by dedicated staff, specifically, SIF’s Executive Director, Rebecca Lange-Thernes. Seeing her work in and out of the classroom really emphasizes how invested she is in helping students academically improve through financial literacy. Her drive for helping kids really sets this non-profit out from many others. Stocks in the Future allows my team at T. Rowe Price to give back to the community by passing on our financial knowledge to students.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having worked with young children in various scenarios, I’ve noticed that often, students lose focus quickly and are less engaged in the material because they have so much pent up energy. This isn’t the case with the students in Stocks in the Future. Every student I talk with is extremely focused on the conversation at hand and eager to learn more about the subject. I am most impressed by the fact that these middle-school students have such a strong financial backgrounds and are able to ask me specific questions about a financial concept.

Stocks in the Future impacts more than the students: when students go home, they bring the financial lessons they learned that day home to their parents, who then share it with their friends, and so on. In this manner, Stocks in the Future creates a ripple effect that helps the community as a whole. While other organizations often introduce a skillset to students, Stocks in the Future reinforces the financial concepts over a three-year curriculum. The reinforcement allows students to readily apply the financial knowledge throughout high school and the rest of their lives.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

One of my most vivid memories of Stocks in the Future is of a student explaining his analysis of the security and stability of Caterpillar Stock. He explained that Caterpillar stock will be stable because “we’re going to need the type of equipment Caterpillar uses to build houses. The need for construction equipment is a need we’ll continually have.” The most impressive aspect, for me at least, was that this student, who was only in eighth grade, could explain a stock’s risk by connecting its abstract value to underlying business fundamentals such as our ever-growing need for infrastructure and housing.

Stocks in the Future is special in that it is able to give kids a head start and to help them find their passion in finance. The program is based on a curriculum developed specifically for middle-school students; while other programs may introduce financial concepts to the students, Stocks in the Future provides a much more comprehensive education where students practice and implement the concepts they learn. Regardless of whether the students pursue a career in finance, I firmly believe that the financial education they gain in Stocks in the Future, such as portfolio diversification, mutual funds, and risks, will serve them well.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with the staff on their program evaluation, working with them to better understand how they can investigate their impact on students and schools, and how they can improve the implementation of their program in schools.

Stocks in the Future encourages middle-school students to academically improve through financial education. By teaching students to think critically and strategically about money, students learn how to take responsibility of their personal finances, beyond knowing how to spend money for toys or other wants. In learning how the financial systems work, students learn how money functions in our lives.

This organization is unique in that students enhance their reading and writing skills indirectly; rather than practicing math drills, students apply concepts in math and reading to an interesting and more easy to relate to subject of finance. In making school more fun and interesting, students are encouraged to invest in their education by improving their grades and attending school more.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Having worked with the staff of Stocks in the Future (SIF) on aspects of the curriculum and teacher professional development, I can confidently say that SIF is a unique and effective program. The curriculum teaches students in the middle grades how to invest and manage money responsibly, and rewards them for regular attendance and improved report card grades. This is a win-win combination for students to increase knowledge of financial concepts and improve their success in school. The dedicated teachers of SIF classes help students build critical thinking skills and an understanding of real-world finance. Students are encouraged to share SIF content with their parents to strengthen the impact of the program.

Board Member

Rating: 5

This prior week I watched a Stocks in the Future (SIF) presentation at FallStaff Middle School. The instructors provided an interactive lesson for which the students were responsive, enthusiastic and knowledgeable; using a multitude of lesson plans to educate the students. I am honored to be a Board Member for a Organization dedicated to enriching the lives of students.

Review from Guidestar

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The other day I attended a class at Hampden Elementary School in Baltimore City where a Stocks in the Future lesson was being taught. The students’ enthusiasm for the program was contagious. When the teacher asked a question, hands immediately shot up in the air.
The students discussed free cash flow, profit and loss margins and inflation and its impact on purchasing power. One student even brought up Peter Lynch, one of the greatest investors ever. How many 8th graders know of Peter Lynch let alone the definition of free cash flow? I was impressed to say the least.
That is why I joined Stocks in the Future. It is a unique program that teaches kids to think critically, analyze situations using their math, writing and speaking skills, and keeps them interested in coming to school. The SIF board is as enthusiastic as the students who are learning about stocks, bonds, mutual funds and the economy. Our members are hard working and 100 percent behind this curriculum, which we aim to introduce to schools throughout Baltimore City.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a graduate from Baltimore City Public schools, I only dreamed a program like Stocks in the Future existed for students who were interested in financial literacy at an early age, but did not have classes or courses to encourage the interest. Linking attendance with financial incentives and education is an amazing concept and SIF has mastered it!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The curriculum and activities of Stocks in the future has an incredible impact on the students, teachers, and any participant in the program. In my interactions with the students, I have been amazed by how articulate these middle school students are at explaining complex economic concepts that many adults may not even know. Understanding strategies for investment is tough. For me, one of the most rewarding parts of the program is watching how the students invest with such an open mind that they can truly explore the companies and other facets of the capital markets.
The investment portfolio is one of the most unique aspects of Stocks in the Future. Not only are these students learning the financial concepts, but they are also implementing their knowledge. Having three children myself, I want to see the our youth become well-rounded in practical life skills such as managing personal finances. With a professionally crafted curriculum, Stocks in the Future creatively and uniquely teaches these life skills to the students.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

To me, the most impressive aspect of Stocks in the Future is its ability to provide students with life-long skills through a comprehensive curriculum. The program effectively combines instructional material and incentives (money) to improve student attendance and academics. Furthermore, the curriculum is compiled by knowledgeable education professionals and experts in the financial field in a way that is understandable to middle school students.

Last year, I observed a class with the Maryland’s Comptroller, Peter Franchot. I was amazed by the students’ ability to effectively communicate concepts such as trading theory and take those concepts to formulate a personal goal. One young woman discovered an interest in marketing through Stocks in the Future. I think this captures one of the best aspects of the organization: its ability to expose students into a world of possibilities that they might not have learned about through school such as finance career options or investment possibilities.

Stocks in the Future is unique in that it provides education in finance to middle school students while most other similar organizations target high school students. Furthermore, the program provides a year-long curriculum that helps track student improvement and development over time. No other organization offers such comprehensive focus on the growth of students.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

About three years ago, I hosted a group of Stocks in the Future students at Bank of America. In conversing with the students, I was greatly impressed with their financial literacy and enthusiasm about the program. After learning more about the organization, I asked to join the board of Stocks in the Future because the organization’s core values align with my interests in finance and working with the youth of Baltimore.

In my experiences with Stocks in the Future, I have developed a greater appreciation for the program. The program is instrumental in providing financial education to youth in areas of low to moderate income that are not typically exposed to such concepts.

In one of my classroom visits, I talked with a Stocks in the Future student who had worked all summer mowing lawns. From his knowledge acquired from the program, this student created a savings plan in which he would save 10% of his earnings. I was impressed that this student had created and maintained a savings budget by himself. In addition to a savings plan, the student developed an investment plan in which he would evaluate stocks based on how much he liked a company, the service it offered, and the quality of its product. The student’s self-motivated financial planning truly captures the impact of the organization. By integrating decision making skills and academics into its curriculum, students learn how to invest in themselves and their future. This, to me, is what makes Stocks in the Future unique.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

This organization is the vanity project of the founder. The board turns over completely every 1 - 2 years and no executive director has ever stayed past 10 months. If you want to put your money somewhere, I would suggest not funding a rich lady's hobby.

Comments ( 2 )

profile

StocksintheFuture 11/11/2014

Hello, Stocks in the Future here. We feel compelled to respond to this post. Stocks in the Future has been and remains committed to motivating at-risk middle school students in the Baltimore area to succeed in school through teaching them about investing and the stock market. That is our focus each day. Stocks in the Future (SIF) uses a board-control model, and its membership remains stable. As individual Board terms expire, new community leaders emerge and are oriented for Board service – a customary practice in this industry. Rebecca Lange-Thernes is in her second year as Executive Director and served more than 3 years as SIF’s Instructional Facilitator prior to her current position. We are proud of our significant growth and stability over these past years. A lot has developed since this post. With input from our stakeholders, the Board produced a three-year strategic plan to guide us in achieving our mission. The first phase of a formal program evaluation is nearly complete. We anticipate its results will further validate our program’s positive impact on student absenteeism. And we have begun work toward an upgrade of our financial literacy curriculum: a joint effort of staff, Board committees and volunteers from the education and finance fields. We encourage you to view our website www.SIFonline.org and always welcome people seeking more information about our organization to contact us directly.

profile

StocksintheFuture 11/11/2014

Hello, Stocks in the Future here. We feel compelled to respond to this post. Stocks in the Future has been and remains committed to motivating at-risk middle school students in the Baltimore area to succeed in school through teaching them about investing and the stock market. That is our focus each day. Stocks in the Future (SIF) uses a board-control model, and its membership remains stable. As individual Board terms expire, new community leaders emerge and are oriented for Board service – a customary practice in this industry. Rebecca Lange-Thernes is in her second year as Executive Director and served more than 3 years as SIF’s Instructional Facilitator prior to her current position. We are proud of our significant growth and stability over these past years. A lot has developed since this post. With input from our stakeholders, the Board produced a three-year strategic plan to guide us in achieving our mission. The first phase of a formal program evaluation is nearly complete. We anticipate its results will further validate our program’s positive impact on student absenteeism. And we have begun work toward an upgrade of our financial literacy curriculum: a joint effort of staff, Board committees and volunteers from the education and finance fields. We encourage you to view our website www.SIFonline.org and always welcome people seeking more information about our organization to contact us directly.

Review from Guidestar