Milton Hershey School Investment Club Ranks High in State
In the past nine weeks, Milton Hershey School students watched stocks and their knowledge of them grow. Thanks to help from the school’s partners at the Hershey Trust Company, the MHS Investment Club placed 10th out of 130 schools in the central Pennsylvania region that participated in The Stock Market Game.
The students started with $100,000 of fake money. Each week, on a Thursday evening, they met with Jennifer Drey, Business Education Teacher, and Hershey Trust Company Vice President Josh Shannon to decide how to invest their funds. At the end of the session, the team realized a 12.3 percent gain on their investments.
“The market was only up 6 percent. You outperformed the market by 6 percent. That is unbelievable performance,” Shannon told the students during their end of season celebration.
MHS Senior Chris Koehler said he was interested in the stock market before joining the club but working with Hershey Trust experts and his peers helped him learn more about the market’s complications. Watching the market’s ups and downs through Investment Club reinforced to Chris the importance of patience in an ever-changing environment.
Leah Tejan, also a senior, agrees with Chris on the importance of patience. When the session began, Leah convinced her peers to invest some of their funds in E.L.F. Cosmetics. They watched their investment initially fall, but Leah was convinced more people would purchase makeup supplies as the holiday season approached. Her advocacy and patience paid off.
“Investors must be confident in the decisions they make. They cannot let minor things cause them to second guess,” Leah said.
Shannon and the team at Hershey Trust Company helped the students build their confidence, Leah said. The experts did not tell the students how to invest their money. Instead, they placed them in charge and answered their questions. For Shannon, watching the students expand their knowledge is just as exciting as watching the market growth.
“I find it fun to take somebody who has barely ever heard of a stock and turn them into somebody who knows how to pick a company, assess whether it is a good or bad company, and connect that to whether it would be a good or bad investment,” Shannon said.
Working with The Hershey Trust Company through The Investment Club is one of several ways Hershey Entity partners have enriched Leah and Chris’ MHS education. Leah previously interned at The Hershey Company and worked with Hershey Entertainment & Resorts (HE&R) employees for a class project.
“MHS really levels the playing field and gives us the opportunities we deserve and earned to be better people,” Leah said. “The Hershey Entities putting in the effort to make us successful proves they are continuing our shared founder’s legacy.”
Chris agrees and is grateful to be graduating from MHS in June after receiving an exceptional educational experience with all costs covered. He is also inspired by the many MHS alumni who work for the school and Hershey Entity partners.
“To see people like me succeed in a business setting instead of just people who came from richness is powerful,” Chris said.