SIFMA Foundation's InvestWrite® Winners Out-Write the Competition


SIFMA Foundation Honors Students, Their Teachers, and Parents in NYC

Jul 26, 2010, 11:17 ET from SIFMA Foundation

SIFMA Foundation Honors Students, Their Teachers, and Parents in NYC

NEW YORK, July 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The SIFMA Foundation today welcomes to New York City four of the nation's brightest young economists – the middle and high school winners of the SIFMA Foundation's 2010 National InvestWrite Student Essay Competition. Answering tough questions about asset allocation and long-term financial planning, this year's InvestWrite student champions prevailed over more than 8,500 essay-writing peers.

Winners were Maya Talukdar, Mill Middle School, Williamsville, New York; Mary Jane Wooley, Hartselle Middle School, Hartselle, Alabama; Jeston Mitchell, Angelo Rodriguez High School, Fairfield, California; and McKenzie Brothers, Spruce Creek High School, Port Orange, Florida. The victory earned each of the winners an all-expenses paid trip to New York City with their teacher and a parent, and an exclusive speaking engagement at the New York Stock Exchange on July 26. The winners also gain entry into SIFMA Foundation's InvestWrite Hall of Fame, a group of 35 students who have collectively outranked 100,000 competitors since 2004.

The SIFMA Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to raising the level of financial literacy nationwide, created InvestWrite to foster students' critical thinking skills required for effective personal financial decision-making. The program serves as an innovative extension of SIFMA Foundation's award-winning, curriculum-based Stock Market Game™, which has served more than 12 million students, reinforcing their knowledge of mathematics, economics, social studies and personal finance. A recent study conducted by Learning Point Associates shows that SIFMA Foundation's Stock Market Game program substantially raises student math scores on standardized tests and increases student investor knowledge.

"SIFMA Foundation's InvestWrite, like the Stock Market Game, enables students to apply their classroom learning to the real world, ensuring that what they learn is immediately relevant, practical, and – we hope – beneficial for life," said Melanie Mortimer, Executive Director of the SIFMA Foundation.

InvestWrite winners are selected each year through rigorous judging by thousands of teachers and industry professionals. Scoring is on the basis of subject matter, analysis of the topic, and writing quality. Participants get to strengthen their writing skills – a core competency for college readiness and an area that has come under greater focus by the U.S. Department of Education in recent months. They also apply personal financial concepts such as understanding wants versus needs, compounded saving, delayed gratification, asset allocation, and financial decision-making at different life stages.  

Maya Talukdar, a sixth grader, applied the game of chess to investing where strategy, forethought, and patience are all important attributes. In his essay, Jeston Mitchell pointed out how The Stock Market Game helped him realize that it is possible to distribute one’s savings among immediate wants and future retirement.  Mary Jane Wooley and McKenzie Brothers’ essays are available at

About the SIFMA Foundation & SIFMA

The SIFMA Foundation is dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of the financial markets for individuals of all backgrounds. Drawing on the support and expertise of the financial industry, the SIFMA Foundation provides financial education programs and tools that strengthen economic opportunities across communities and increase individuals' access to the benefits of the global marketplace. For more information, visit

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) brings together the shared interests of hundreds of securities firms, banks and asset managers.  SIFMA, with offices in New York and Washington, D.C., is the U.S. regional member of the Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA).  For more information, visit

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