Gazebo Gazette

Stone Kelly, age 12, from Pass Christian, Mississippi is well on his way to joining the ranks of some of the best financial legends in the world. The diligent 6th-grader defied the challenges of distance learning and cinched an exhilarating win in the SIFMA Foundation’s Fall 2020 InvestWrite competition, penning an essay on how challenges can create opportunities in the global economy and in life.

Beating out thousands of other students around the country competing in the middle school division, Kelly, who attends St. Vincent De Paul Catholic School, researched and composed an impressive long-term financial plan and now he is being recognized nationally.

SIFMA Foundation’s InvestWrite national essay competition bridges classroom learning in math, social studies, and language arts with the practical research and knowledge required for saving, investing and long-term planning. It also serves as a culminating activity for The Stock Market Game™ a highly effective in-person, remote learning and hybrid educational tool in which students invest and manage a hypothetical $100,000 online portfolio of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and cash.

“SIFMA Foundation’s programs give youth of all backgrounds, especially in underserved communities, a real shot at financial independence and economic mobility,” said Melanie Mortimer, President of the SIFMA Foundation. “We equip and train teachers to offer essential skills and knowledge to their 4th-12th graders to navigate the capital markets and financial decision-making. To date, we’ve transformed the lives of 20 million students like Stone through learning that is practical and fun.”

The Fall 2020 InvestWrite competition challenged students to write an essay about how they’ve adapted to change at some point in their lives, how a publicly traded company has adapted to change, and how that company’s stock could be combined with other stocks, bonds or mutual funds to create a successful long-term portfolio.

Kelly developed a plan that would have an impact today and into the future and wowed the team of judges with his essay.

The Stock Market Game and InvestWrite are offered in Mississippi through the Mississippi Council on Economic Education. “We honor and congratulate Stone and his teacher, Tara Meleones,” said Selena Swartzfager, President of the Mississippi Council on Economic Education, “Helping Mississippi students better understand our economy, our markets, the role of investors, and how to make good investments will pay dividends for the students, their education, and the Mississippi economy.”

Stone Kelly and his teacher, Tara Meleones, were honored by the SIFMA Foundation and the Mississippi Council on Economic Education during a surprise virtual presentation on May 3, 2021.