Vassalboro Capitol Hill Challenge team places third in nation

The Vassalboro Community School Capitol Hill Challenge stock market game team that finished third in the nation, and was the number one Middle School entry, clockwise from top left, JMG advisor Victor Esposito, Noah Bechard, Brady Desmond and Sofia Derosby. Most of the competiton was done online and through virtual meetings. (contributed photo)

Submitted by Victor Esposito
from SIFMA website

SIFMA and the SIFMA Foundation has announced the top 10 programs in the country for the 17th Annual Capitol Hill Challenge™ national financial education program, generously supported by the Charles Schwab Foundation, and announce the 10 teams who rose to the top of this rigorous investment competition.

Student teams representing public schools in every U.S. congressional district were invited to show their investing prowess by managing high-performing, diversified portfolios. Remarkably, in spite of school disruptions this Spring, there were 2,300 teams, with 8,400 students and their teachers who persevered to finish the challenge, demonstrating incredible commitment and achieving impressive results. Dynamic market conditions made for an exciting competition.

The Vassalboro Community School team, under the guidance of JMG master specialist Victor Esposito, finished third in the nation, and were the number one middle school.

According to Esposito, it was their first attempt at the National CHC Stock Market game.

“Congratulations to all the participants of this year’s Capitol Hill Challenge,” said Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr., SIFMA president and CEO. “For more than a decade, the SIFMA Foundation’s Capitol Hill Challenge and Stock Market Game have helped students from around the country become financially capable,” said Ken E. Bentsen, Jr., SIFMA President & CEO. “Our industry is committed to helping students learn the importance of saving and investing, while also providing them a solid foundation to achieve their future financial goals. SIFMA commends the Members of Congress who have visited their local schools virtually and engaged with students on financial education.”

This 14-week challenge organizes teams of public middle and high school students by congressional district and state and teaches the importance of saving and investing, while simultaneously promoting a better understanding of our government. Teams invest a hypothetical $100,000 in listed stocks, bonds, and mutual funds and learn the value of the capital markets as they work together to diversify across asset classes and maximize the return of their portfolios.

Since, the Capitol Hill Challenge began in 2004, the program has reached more than 125,000 students through more than 5,000 matches of U.S. representatives and senators with schools. Public middle and high school students from all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, participated in this year’s challenge.

Esposito lauded the local students for their dedication, “I wanted to just add that these kids did an amazing job considering a good part of it was online. They stayed focused and made some big moves and great choices.”

“Now more than ever, we need to inform and prepare young people for their financial lives,” said Melanie Mortimer, President of the SIFMA Foundation. “Through public-private collaborations like the Capitol Hill Challenge, the SIFMA Foundation, every US Member of Congress, and Charles Schwab are delivering financial capability to public schools nationwide. Together we are ensuring young people across America experience the capital markets and gain insights that lead to long-term success,” added Ms. Mortimer.

As their advisor, Esposito said, “I am super proud of their accomplishment, and I also thank their parents, who truly helped by keeping them on track, and a special thank you to Rob Picard, one of my parents who gave us a great boost at the start and kept following up throughout the game.”

The competition uses the SIFMA Foundation’s curriculum-based Stock Market Game program, which features a high-tech, online investment simulation of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs and ESG investments, to give students a better understanding of capital markets, global economic trends and fiscal policy. It is proven to advance students’ performance on math and economic tests and improves students’ and teachers’ personal financial behavior.

2020 Capitol Hill Challenge: Top 10 schools and their representative:

Ravenna High School, OH, Rob Portman.
Springbrook High School, MD, Jamie Raskin.
Vassalboro Community School, ME, Chellie Pingree.
Mat-Su Career & Tech Ed High School, AK, Dan Sullivan.
Burbank High School, CA, Adam Schiff.
Saline High School, MI, Debbie Dingell.
West Orange Stark High School, TX, Brian Babin.
Cosby High School, TN, Phil Roe.
Sunnyvale Middle School, TX, Lance Gooden.
Lubbock-Cooper High School, TX, Jodey Arrington.

To learn more about the program, visit the SIFMA Foundation’s website at:


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