Photo by Fernando Medina
Via the Orlando Magic:
Orlando Magic guard J.J. Redick, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and the SIFMA Foundation made a Slam Dunk for Financial Education with Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida. The program tipped off on Monday, February 14 at the Parramore Boys & Girls Club.
This innovative partnership funded by Bank of America, brings the SIFMA Foundation’s 10-week Stock Market Game™ competition to 60 youth at three area Boys & Girls Clubs. The Stock Market Game, which is widely used by 600,000 students each year, introduces youngsters to the financial markets as they learn math, economics, and the importance of long-term saving and investing. As part of the program, teams of three-five participants work together to invest a hypothetical $100,000 in real stocks, bonds and mutual funds, learning cooperation, communication and leadership as they manage their portfolios.
Bank of America and Merrill Lynch associate volunteers will bring the content to life for Slam Dunk’s youth participants, coaching and supporting the youth teams at each of the Boys & Girls Club sites – the Parramore, Universal Orlando Foundation and the Walt Disney World Branches. J.J. Redick offers up his star power to the program, encouraging participants to develop life skills through this experience, including how to set goals and work towards them, how to be a team player, and most of all, to always plan for the future.
“It gives us tremendous pride to partner with Bank of America, Orlando Magic, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida to promote financial education to youth in Orlando,” said Melanie Mortimer, Executive Director of the SIFMA Foundation. “By combining a fun and engaging educational program with an iconic basketball team and the real-world input of financial professionals, we’re capturing the hearts and minds of young people, preparing them for life, and helping them improve their knowledge and skills.”
The Slam Dunk for Financial Education program is a real-world educational experience that teaches personal finance, saving and investing, and also develops youngsters’ critical thinking skills. The program is designed to arm youth with the tools and resources to help them achieve their educational, financial and career goals. It is one example of Bank of America’s support for youth financial education and is consistent with the firm’s contribution of time and talent to its local communities through volunteerism.
They also get to spend time with Magic sharpshooter J.J. Redick. As part of the Orlando Magic’s generous support of the program, participants will have a rare opportunity to visit the new Amway Center and be recognized in an on-court halftime ceremony later this spring.
Last year, Learning Points Associates, in conjunction with the FINRA Foundation for Investor Education, announced the results of a rigorous nationwide study examining the impact of the SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game. They found that Stock Market Game participants scored considerably higher on tests of math and investor knowledge compared to their non-participating peers, and that teachers of the program also improved their financial behavior.