Congressman visits WHS

With a group of local high school students in the midst of learning about investing and the stock market, they received a lesson on the free market from a person who is a college graduate with an economics degree and a U.S. representative.

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, discussed federal budget issues and other challenges on Capitol Hill with students in Bill Dellinger’s economics class Tuesday at Wapakoneta High School.

The students are competing against other schools in The Capitol Hill Challenge, which is an edition of The Stock Market Challenge, and is a program that matches members of Congress with students, teachers and schools benefiting from The Stock Market Game in their respective district or state. For the second year in a row, the seniors at Wapakoneta High School found themselves paired with Jordan.

“Any economic lesson for young people is good,” Jordan said of the challenge. “I was an economics major, and I caught the bug from my high school economics teacher.”

The program, which takes place every spring, requires student teams

to manage a hypothetical $100,000 online portfolio and investing in real stock.

Dellinger has two economics classes with 40 students — 10 teams — participating in this challenge.

“This is for students to learn how the stock market operates,” Dellinger said explaining the goal of the challenge. “I tie this in with my investment unit.”

During the challenge, the students check their stocks, and they are able to buy and sell stocks.

“The game allows them to understand how it works,” Dellinger said, “and it gives a fun, competitive edge.”

Wapakoneta High School senior Annie Harrod, who is working in a group with Carlie Sammons and Jocelyn Campbell, said their team is doing well.

“We are ranked 310 out of 4,000 teams in Ohio,” Harrod said. “We have five stocks we put all of our money into.”

Those include Goodyear Tires, Southwest and Delta airlines and two medical companies.

“We learn to manage money and to keep an eye on the stock market,” Harrod said. “You never know when it is going to change.”

Before the challenge, Harrod said she had a brief understanding of the stock market, but now she has learned so much from this program that one day she wants to invest in stocks.

“You can really benefit from it,” Harrod said.

Classmate Saira Brown said her group has had some struggles along the way during this challenge.

“We invested in some bad stock,” Brown said. “So we are trying to learn from our mistakes.”

This challenge showed Brown how to manage money.

“I think it’s really neat,” Brown said of the challenge.

The classroom learning focuses on the dynamics of the marketplace and the importance of long-term saving and investing.

While Jordan spoked to the students briefly on the challenge, he gave the students some advice to take with them.

“There are a couple things I try to tell young adults and that is to work hard and don’t let people tell you that you won’t be able to do something,” Jordan said.

When Jordan ran for a state representative seat in 1994, he was told he had no chance of winning.

“I decided to run anyway,” said Jordan, who also served as a state senator. “We went door to door and ended up raising $17,000, and we ended up beating the other opponent.”

Jordan proved that his hard work paid off.

“Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t,” Jordan said. “If you are willing to work hard, good things can happen.”

During the question-and-answer session with the students, he was asked about the country’s debt, balancing budgets, the 2nd amendment and Obama-care.

At the end of the program he gave another piece of advice to the students, he said if a person can communicate, they will do well — as students should pay attention in all their subjects.

“People who read, write and speak well will do better in life,” Jordan said.