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  • Junior Achievement

Money moves: Students learn about stocks through hands-on challenge

By KAYLEY FRAZE/The Lufkin Daily News

Feb 2, 2022

From left, seniors Dane Bundy, Cade Kittman and Alex Stepp watch their investments as the Junior Achievement’s 4th annual Stock

Market Challenge nears its end Tuesday morning at the Pitser Garrison Convention Center.

JOEL ANDREWS/The Lufkin Daily News

The Pitser Garrison Convention Center was transformed into Wall Street Tuesday morning as students from Lufkin, Diboll,

Hudson and Huntington high schools participated in the Junior Achievement’s fourth annual Stock Market Challenge.

The local juniors and seniors have spent the last six weeks learning about investing, buying and selling stocks as well as risk versus

reward, JA executive director Staci Hodges said. With the challenge, the students started with a fictitious $1 million, and with

different news items and hot tips had to decide how to adjust their stocks.

“It lets them put what they learned into practice,” she said. “It’s very fast and furious. It’s a fun experience.”

Junior Achievement focuses on experiences that tie what students learn in the classroom into everyday life, Hodges said.

“It makes things applicable to the real world,” she said.

Hodges does not remember learning about the stock market in high school but thinks it is an important concept for kids to know.

“It ties back into your investments, your future, your financial literacy,” she said.

Huntington High School principal Shane Stover liked that the students were able to learn about investing and how the market

works in a hands-on way, he said.

“It’s really impressive and one of my favorite events that they put on because it’s a real-time event where they can put some basic

knowledge into practice,” he said. “Students learn the best by doing, and so today they are doing.”

The students are able to enjoy themselves as they learn thanks to the competitive aspect to the challenge, Stover said.

“They look up and say, ‘Hey, we’re in first, we’re in last,’ and they get investment on giving an effort and trying,” he said. “It’s eyeopening

for our kids as seniors who are about to step into the real world.”

Hemphill seniors Dane Bundy, Cade Kittman and Alex Stepp said the competitive aspect of the challenge was their favorite part.

“Whenever we got to first place and they announced us earlier, that was cool,” Alex said.

The boys also enjoyed utilizing the things they have been learning — though it was suspenseful at the start, Cade said.

“It was really exciting, learning about these things that we don’t really know well,” Dane said.

Seniors Damyn Rojas and Xzavier Silva and junior Daniel Meza from Diboll High School won the overall challenge.

While it was Damyn and Daniel’s first year competing, Xzavier found himself on the winning team for the second year in a row.

“A lot of thinking goes into it,” Daniel said.

Damyn’s favorite part was the competitive aspect. All three boys liked getting to use what they have learned, they said.

“It feels good putting it into practice because I for sure want to do it in the real world,” Xzavier said.

Damyn and Daniel said the stock market world is thrilling.

“It’s intimidating but it’s a rush,” Daniel said.

Two teams from Hudson High School ended up winning second and third place.

Kayley Fraze’s email address is

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