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“Thank You Mr. Roger” – A Boys and Girls Club Volunteer’s Reward


I received this video out of the blue about a stock picking project we put together last year for teen members of the Roy McBean Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota. Was not quite sure until then whether it was “just one more” volunteer idea disruptive for staff.*

Here is the gist of this simple project: Rather than cut a check as a contribution I decided to put up $2000 to help interested kids personally learn about the realities of the stock market. At this early stage I did not want any of the kids or staff to lose any money but to benefit from any upside. To that extent the project was not realistic but served to create more personal involvement, interest, and discussion.

There were four different $500 categories of participants and each had to pick a stock to follow for thirteen months. At the end of that period they could “cash out” if there was a profit, or keep the stock for another 12 months (Eg: If the total value of say Nike stock went up from $500 to $600 the participant picking Nike could opt to get $100 in the form of cash or a gift card). A group of six teens with whom I had been working banded together and picked Nike. Their stock went up 12%. The Teen Club Director, a mother of three selected Children’s Place. Her stock went up 8%. A fashionable young teen picked MAC, owned by Este’ Lauder. Her stock went up 9%. And as you can tell from the video, Nate Brown the club’s terrific Executive Director, got frozen out of his first choice, Nike, and picked the energy stock, Team Inc. instead. A bad period for the energy sector of the economy, his stock went down (32%).

*It should be noted that Charles Schwab Foundation since 2003 has sponsored a thoughtful national financial literacy program, Money Matters, which have involved thousands of Boys and Girls Clubs members.