Fort St. John middle school students sharpened their financial smarts on Thursday.
Dr. Kearney students took part in a Money Fair organized by high school student William Brown, who brought the initiative to Jared Kaye’s Grade 7 class as part of his Capstone project, teaching students about their financial future.
"I’ve been interested in finance for a very long time, since grade 7 actually, that’s why I picked a grade 7 class,” said Brown, who heads off to the University of Calgary to study finance in the fall.
He worked with students over the course of a week to prep their projects. A total of nine were completed and graded based on the quality of the students' research. One group compared the cost of buying a used truck to new; another compared the costs of eating at home to eating out.
“They're trying to figure out how to save money because you don’t make a lot of money when you’re a teenager," said Brown. "They're also learning how to apply money, and how to use it in a more useful way while not being wasteful."
Jackson Hedlund and Channing Salinas worked together on a project about modern scams. When asked about what they learned, Hedlund replied, “to know when, and when not to, trust someone with your money."
"Scams are everywhere," he said.
Brown is furthering his education in Calgary in the hopes of one day becoming a hedge fund analyst in the United States. He said he didn't learn much about money when he was in middle school.
“I figured out that I really liked money and dealing with finance when I was in grade 7, but it wasn’t a school thing," he said. "I thought that introducing these kids to financial concepts that they wouldn’t learn otherwise might be cool.”
His advice for young students?
"Start young if you're investing because it really adds up," he said. "Compound interest, it works magic over time. So, if you start young, you’re going to have a lot more than if you start later."