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FINANCIAL PROGRAM ROCKS CENTRAL

Rock the Street, Wall Street helps girls explore finance

From+Left+to+Right%3A+Kylie+Jost+%2810%29%2C+Alexis+Schnatmeier+%2810%29%2C+Julie+Ryterski+%2810%29%2C+and+Talia+Emch+%2812%29+meet+with+a+representative+of+TD+Ameritrade+during+AC+Lab+on+Oct.+17.+Photo+by+Shoshana+Weinstein.
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FINANCIAL PROGRAM ROCKS CENTRAL

From Left to Right: Kylie Jost (10), Alexis Schnatmeier (10), Julie Ryterski (10), and Talia Emch (12) meet with a representative of TD Ameritrade during AC Lab on Oct. 17. Photo by Shoshana Weinstein.

From Left to Right: Kylie Jost (10), Alexis Schnatmeier (10), Julie Ryterski (10), and Talia Emch (12) meet with a representative of TD Ameritrade during AC Lab on Oct. 17. Photo by Shoshana Weinstein.

From Left to Right: Kylie Jost (10), Alexis Schnatmeier (10), Julie Ryterski (10), and Talia Emch (12) meet with a representative of TD Ameritrade during AC Lab on Oct. 17. Photo by Shoshana Weinstein.

From Left to Right: Kylie Jost (10), Alexis Schnatmeier (10), Julie Ryterski (10), and Talia Emch (12) meet with a representative of TD Ameritrade during AC Lab on Oct. 17. Photo by Shoshana Weinstein.

Shoshana Weinstein, Staff Writer

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Parkway Central is making history this year. As the first school in Missouri to offer the Rock the Street, Wall Street program to its students, Central High is encouraging girls to get more involved in careers in finance.
“Central High is the first school in Missouri to have this program implemented,” business teacher Kim Carr said. “Rock the Street, Wall Street is nationwide, but they partner with TD Ameritrade, which is a local company, and then TD Ameritrade brings their female workers, their female executives, in to spread the good word to other girls who might be interested.” Finance is currently a male-dominated field; the Rock the Street, Wall Street program tackles this issue head-on.
“The purpose of the program is to promote financial literacy and financial career options with women, because the makeup of that field is very inequitable,” Carr said. “Men to women, the ratio is really lopsided. So this Rock the Street Wall Street organization wanted to just promote that these are great careers for women to come into.”
Once enrolled in the program, female students enter the world of finance. They are introduced to the process of budgeting, stocks, bonds, and financial careers. Participants are challenged to think outside the box.
“For each section we’ll focus on some aspect of finance, so lately we’ve been working on budgeting and making a mock budget,” senior Talia Emch said. “We’ve looked at stocks, so we’ve tracked a few different companies and their stocks. And we’ve looked at savings accounts and checking accounts.”
Additionally, students find that they are afforded real-world experience through the program. “I’m interested in studying business, and as a senior I kind of want to see a more realistic side of things and how things actually work in the field of finance,” Emch said. “It’s kind of cool to get hands on experience instead of just learning about it in the classroom.” This experience equips girls with the financial skills they will need in the real world.
Students also get to interact with women currently working in the field of finance. TD Ameritrade sends experts to coach participants. Girls enrolled in the program expressed gratitude and admiration towards these female role models. “I love meeting these ladies, and seeing how they talk about how much they love their job and the stock market and stuff,” freshman Katie Tien said. “It just seems really interesting to me.”
Undeniably, learning from someone with experience is helpful for students pursuing a career in finance. “The program is hosted by professionals that are actually working in the world of finance, so they are bringing a real world perspective, rather than it just coming from a teacher like normal,” business teacher Mary Piening said. “And I think that is enticing to students because they’re hearing it from someone who is doing it.”
Participants and teachers alike emphasized that the program was helpful in deepening their understanding of finance, especially when combined with Parkway Central’s required Personal Finance course. “It’s based less on personal application of finance and more on advising other people about financial choices,” Carr said. “So they do a simulation where it’s like, ‘Okay you have this person, and here’s her situation. What would you advise her with her financial situation? What would you advise her to invest in, what would you advise her to budget for different things?’”
The rigorous course is paying off. “I’m in personal finance right now, but this is deepening my understanding of personal finance and stuff,” sophomore Julie Ryterski said.

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