Chamber Program Helps Middle School Students Learn Financial Investment Skills

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Main News Photo

Over the last six years the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce has helped more than 1,500 students from several Irvine middle schools to learn the value of financial investments through its Financial Forum program. The program, offered through the Chamber’s Education and Workforce Development Committee, is administrated by the committee’s Financial Forum Task Force leader Peter Chan, who is an experienced financial advisor at The Prudential Insurance Company of America.

Members of the Greater Irvine Chamber staff and its Financial Forum Task Force volunteer to facilitate groups of students as they learn their assignment of tracking their mock investments using actual activity of real companies over a period of several weeks.

The students also hear from industry experts such as Chan and Wes Rowlands, CEO of the National Youth Mentor Academy (NYMA), and best-selling author and teacher. Rowlands recommended to a record number of students participating in the May 17 session held at Venado Middle School, that they research companies during their investment selection process and monitor daily how their stocks are performing.

It’s clear that the lessons of financial investment are something that can capture the interest of students. In response to a question-and-answer exercise during the most recent Financial Forum session, one Venado Middle School student enthusiastically raised his hand and offered, “I’ve learned from the investment workshop that stocks are pretty cool!”

Among many concepts and practices, the students learned about compound and simple interest and the significance of how they differ, research market trends, the time value of money, and the definition of “earning season.”

“The curriculum of the Financial Forum gives students the opportunity to learn about business financial investment that they wouldn’t otherwise have in the classroom, making a real-world connection,” said Kevin Quinlan, co-founder of NYMA.

For more information about how the Greater Irvine Chamber is dedicated to workforce development, and to become involved, contact Pepper Russell at

Category: Chamber News