WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. today announced a commitment of $1 million to advance youth financial capability, capital markets literacy, and civics education across the US. This three-year grant will support the SIFMA Foundation's Capitol Hill Challenge® - a special edition of The Stock Market Game™ that pairs individual members of Congress and financial capability programming with public schools in every congressional district nationwide.
Schwab’s grant will expand schools’ access to financial capability educational programs – a beneficial investment according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which reported that such programming receives $230 million in annual federal funding as compared to $3 billion invested in STEM subjects.
"We are honored to support the Capitol Hill Challenge,” said Walt Bettinger, president and CEO of The Charles Schwab Corporation. “This commitment extends our support of financial education for everyone, from teens to adults, and can help advance middle and high school students’ understanding of personal finance, the capital markets, and math and economics – all of which are so important to success in our rapidly changing world. We strongly believe in the power of financial education to transform lives and enable people to achieve more for themselves and their loved ones."
The Capitol Hill Challenge is an innovative national financial education competition for public junior high and high schools that reaches all 50 U.S. states and connects members of Congress to students, teachers, and schools competing in The Stock Market Game in their respective districts. Through its support of this program, Schwab will engage thousands of student teams as managers of a hypothetical $100,000 online portfolio that they can invest in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Participants will develop essential life skills such as teamwork, cooperation, research, analysis, and decision-making while enhancing their core academic knowledge.
“In my teens I was lucky to have the experience of investing in my first stock,” said Schwab Founder and Chairman Chuck Schwab. “I didn’t know it at the time but what I was really doing was participating in and supporting the American financial system. My investment was a vote for that company and the products it produced. It would be wonderful if every young American could invest in stocks and experience how our system works and how investing is participating in the growth engine of our economy. The SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game is great way to bring that experience alive.”
Adding to the excitement for students and their teachers, senators and representatives visit their matched schools to meet with student teams and discuss current issues and the importance of financial capability. Additionally, the 10 top-ranked Capitol Hill Challenge teams are awarded an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to meet their member of Congress and be recognized at an awards reception on Capitol Hill. They also attend meetings with business, government, and education leaders to learn more about fiscal policymaking, the role of the capital markets, and global economic trends. Winners also tour financial landmarks and national monuments.
Melanie Mortimer, President of the SIFMA Foundation said she is extremely grateful for the gift and for the relationship with Schwab. “Charles Schwab's cornerstone support for the SIFMA Foundation’s Capitol Hill Challenge lays the groundwork for a financially prepared, economically savvy generation that also understands the role of government in policymaking. Together, we are paving the way for stronger, more cohesive and vibrant communities by connecting members of Congress with their youngest constituents.”
The Capitol Hill Challenge is the nation’s only financial education program engaging 100% of Congress. Since its inception in 2004, the program has made 3,272 matches of U.S. representatives and senators with schools, encompassing more than 90,000 students across the country. The program has proven impacts in raising students’ math, economics and personal finance test scores. The grant from Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. provides public middle school and high school teachers nationwide with the support they need to bring financial education into their classrooms including curricula, online and in-person teacher training, academic standards and correlations, assistance securing visits and communications with members of Congress, and incentives, awards and prizes for winners.
Through its support for the Capitol Hill Challenge, Charles Schwab is filling a gap in our nation’s schools. When recently asked by the National Financial Educators Council, “What high school-level course would benefit your life the most,” more than half of 2,409 people across each of six age categories indicated personal finance as their preference, beating out math, science, and social studies combined. Research shows that exposure to financial education throughout life can be key to success. Charles Schwab has reinforced this as a leading proponent for financial education, having served millions of individuals of all ages through its philanthropic and community investments, including:
- Money Matters: Make it Count – Charles Schwab Foundation’s program in collaboration with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America providing basic money management skills to teens ages 13-18;
- Schwab MoneyWise website and workshops – personal finance education for people of all ages;
- A new DonorsChoose program supporting innovative financial education projects in classrooms across America – every dollar donated to financial literacy-focused projects on DonorsChoose.org will be matched by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., up to $100,000;
- Schwab MoneyWise on Campus – financial education for college students in collaboration with select universities;
- The Charles Schwab Wealth Management Workshop at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and at Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder – aiming to spark interest in financial planning and increase the pipeline of qualified financial planning professionals;
- Foundation for Financial Planning — financial advisors making a difference in the lives of others by providing pro-bono financial planning to those in need. Charles Schwab and Charles Schwab Foundation are longtime supporters and surpassed a contribution commitment of $2 million in 2016;
- Schwab Advisor Services and the Charles Schwab Foundation have worked together since 2007 to advance the independent investment advisor industry, creating awareness of the profession and helping cultivate first-class talent for firms to attract. These grants, dedicated on behalf of advisors, have helped extend financial planning training and education to high school and college students across the country. This includes Texas Tech University’s Financial Planning Academy – a summer program for high school students interested in learning about careers in financial planning.
Schwab is the first company to make a public commitment toward increasing financial capability and inclusion through the national sponsorship of SIFMA Foundation’s Capitol Hill Challenge program.
About Charles Schwab
At Charles Schwab, we believe in the power of investing to help individuals create a better tomorrow. We have a history of challenging the status quo in our industry, innovating in ways that benefit investors and the advisors and employers who serve them, and championing our clients’ goals with passion and integrity. More information is available at www.aboutschwab.com. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.
Through its operating subsidiaries, The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE: SCHW) provides a full range of securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC, www.sipc.org), and affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; compliance and trade monitoring solutions; referrals to independent fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through Schwab Advisor Services. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides banking and lending services and products. The Charles Schwab Foundation is an independent nonprofit public benefit corporation, funded by The Charles Schwab Corporation and classified by the IRS as a charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation is neither a part of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC) nor its parent company, The Charles Schwab Corporation. The Charles Schwab Corporation (and its affiliates) and the Charles Schwab Foundation are unaffiliated with the SIFMA Foundation or Boys & Girls Clubs of America. More information is available at www.schwab.com and www.aboutschwab.com.
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About the SIFMA Foundation for Investor Education
The SIFMA Foundation is dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of the financial markets for individuals of all backgrounds, with a focus on youth. Drawing on the support and expertise of the financial industry, the SIFMA Foundation provides financial education programs and tools that strengthen economic opportunities across communities and increase individuals’ access to the benefits of the global marketplace. Notable Foundation programs include the Stock Market Game, which has served 17 million students since it began in 1977, the InvestWrite national essay competition, www.investwrite.org, the Capitol Hill Challenge, and Invest It Forward. For more information on the work of the SIFMA Foundation, visit www.sifma.org/foundation.