Congressman visits OPA, reinforces value of financial capability

Standing in front of a portrait of Congressman Donald M. Payne Jr. are, from left, Principal Dana Gaines, interim Superintendent of Schools Ronald C. Lee, Congressman Donald M. Payne Jr., Assistant Principal Dr. Shadin Belal, Mayor Dwayne D. Warren, President of the SIFMA Foundation Melanie Mortimer and Glenn Gamble, business instructor at Orange Preparatory Academy.

ORANGE, NJ — Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr. visited Orange Preparatory Academy students participating in the SIFMA Foundation’s Capitol Hill Challenge program, supported by Charles Schwab, on Monday, May 6. This national 14-week financial education competition pairs individual members of Congress and financial capability programming with public schools in every congressional district nationwide to teach middle and high school students about saving, investing, and government.

Payne met with the student teams, which are investing a hypothetical $100,000 in listed stocks, bonds and mutual funds and learning about the capital markets. The national top 10 teams will be recognized at an awards reception in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, June 11.

“For more than a decade, the SIFMA Foundation’s Capitol Hill Challenge and Stock Market Game have helped students from around the country become financially capable,” said Kenneth E. Bentsen Jr., SIFMA president and chief executive officer. “Our industry is committed to helping students learn the importance of saving and investing, while also providing them a solid foundation to achieve their future financial goals. I’d like to give special thanks to lawmakers like Rep. Payne, who are making personal visits to engage students on these important issues.”

“Since day one, Schwab has been committed to making investing and financial education accessible to everyone,” said Jeff Brown, senior vice president, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Charles Schwab. “Our support of the Capitol Hill Challenge is an extension of our commitment to advocating for more financial literacy programs and to giving people the education and tools they need to take control of their financial futures. We applaud Congress for its commitment to advancing students’ understanding of personal finance.”

The competition uses the SIFMA Foundation’s curriculum-based Stock Market Game, a program that helps students develop a better understanding of fiscal policy making, the role of the capital markets, and global economic trends. The program is proven to raise student scores on tests of mathematics, economics and financial knowledge and improve students’ and teachers’ personal financial behavior.

“We thank Congress for its support of youth financial capability through participation in SIFMA Foundation’s Capitol Hill Challenge program,” said Melanie Mortimer, president of the SIFMA Foundation. “And we commend the personal commitment of Rep. Payne for visiting his Capitol Hill Challenge students and teachers to bring their learning to life.”

Since the Capitol Hill Challenge began in 2004, the program has made more than 4,300 matches of U.S. representatives and senators with schools, reaching more than 116,000 students. Middle and high school students from all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., are participating in this year’s challenge.