By Ian Bush
CAMDEN, NJ (CBS) – Some South Jersey grade schoolers are trying their hand on Wall Street — and learning how to invest in themselves in the process.
This Rutgers-Camden computer classroom doesn’t have the volume of a trading floor, but there are high stakes.
“They get $100,000 and they can see how well their own stocks do,” says Ellen Crain with Susquehanna Bank.
It’s virtual cash, but the bank is supporting (with real money and volunteer teachers) the university’s Future Scholars Program.
“The idea is to prepare these students starting in 7th grade and get them ready to enter into college,” says Tammy Hunt, who runs the program.
Alec, an eighth grader at Camden’s Leap Charter School, says, “It teaches us how to make quick decisions within the time we have. We have to make smart decisions as well.”
For a stock pick, turn to his classmate Azaris, who likes Samsung. “They don’t have just, like, phones, and stuff — they have refrigerators.”
Even though Juan doesn’t think he’ll have a career in finance, “I’ve always thought of being a writer when I grow up — and a firefighter, and a football player.”
He says this program has given him the ‘long’ view: “Stay in school, stay focused, and grow up to be whatever you want to be and become successful in the future.”