U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) visited Florence High School (FHS) on Tuesday to meet with students participating in the Securities Industry and Financial Market Association (SIFMA) Foundation's Capitol Hill Challenge program.

This 14-week program is designed to educate and equip middle and high school students to become financially capable and civic-minded.

FHS is one of the thousands of schools competing in the challenge across the nation, and the real-world experience garnered by these teens can better prepare them for life after they graduate high school.

Aderholt spoke with FHS's student teams, which are spending the semester managing a hypothetical $100,000 investment portfolio of listed stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, and impact investments. The competition uses SIFMA's curriculum-based Stock Market Game.

According to a statement released in 1819 News, this is a financial education program that is proven to advance students' performance on math and economics tests and improve students' and teachers' personal financial behavior.

Aderholt's visit coincides with National Financial Literacy Month, during which Americans are encouraged to take control of their finances, save, and invest for their futures.

Aderholt said, "I always enjoy visiting with students in the Fourth Congressional District." Adding, "But it's a particular treat to see how these Florence High School students are learning about financial literacy. While they might be managing imaginary money, I know these lessons will pay dividends in the real world for them in the decades to come."

Currently, FHS is ranked in the top 50 high schools nationwide. However, one team, pictured below with Aderholt, has excelled and is ranked third in the nation.

Robert Aderholt Florence High Students Alabama News
Photo By: Office of U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt

"The Capitol Hill Challenge epitomizes the power of education, mentorship, and community engagement," said Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr., SIFMA President and CEO. Our industry is committed to helping students learn the importance of saving and investing early in life while also providing them with a solid foundation to achieve their future financial goals."

The Charles Schwab Foundation underwrites the SIFMA. Since the Capitol Hill Challenge began in 2004, the program has coordinated more than 7,500 matches of U.S. representatives and senators with schools, reaching nearly 170,000 students.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email Bradley.cox@1819news.com or on Twitter @BradleyCoxAL.

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