Wednesday, June 29, 2011
An Asset on our Balance Sheet
Time horizons, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, income statements, balance sheets, portfolios, risk assessment -- these were the concepts discussed with Ginn Academy students by portfolio manager, Joe Gilbert, each Wednesday morning this past spring. Mr. Gilbert, a member of the 100 Black Men of Cleveland, Inc. organization, takes time every week from his position with Integrity Asset Management to volunteer with us. Along with Career and Technology teacher, Mrs. Valeria Flewelon, he worked with three GA students in preparation for the 100 Black Men Dollars and $ense competition in San Francisco in early June.
A national organization, 100 Black Men is in its 25th year of existence and seeks to better the lives of African-Americans across the U.S. Major initiatives and areas of interest at this point are education, health care, and economic empowerment. The group's members act as mentors in these areas in all of the 116 communities that they serve. They have been associated with The Ginn Academy since the school's inception in 2007.
The partnership between this dedicated group of mentors and our school filled with prospective leaders is a vital link that benefits not only our students, but the communities that we both serve. Our missions are aligned as we both seek to develop and cultivate exactly the same lives.
For the Dollars and $ense event, teams of students from across the country spent a weekend competing in the arena of financial fitness as they were each presented with case studies involving fictitious people with various financial needs. "We started with very rudimentary concepts and worked quickly up to more sophisticated ideas," says Mr. Gilbert.
The three boys, a Freshmen, a Sophomore, and a Junior, were identified by Mrs. Flewelon based on their OGT scores, grades, and their level of interest and capabilities in the subject. The group started with the curriculum a bit later than they would've liked, so they had to work independently at home in order to catch up. Upon their arrival in San Francisco a few weeks ago, the three practiced their presentation in their shared hotel room. "I was so impressed with the energy they put into this," Mr. Gilbert says. "They had to be able to articulate why they should earn the "client's" business. They had to be technical and persuasive, make eye contact, and be confident. They were really phenomenal!"
Besides the educational experiences gained by the boys, the trip itself was educational. Two of the boys had never flown on an airplane before and none of the three had been to California. Just the process of thinking through their packing needs, going through airport security, and staying in the hotel were important parts of the journey.
Two of the three boys were able to come in to school to be interviewed during their summer vacations. The third student, Adam, couldn't be there that day, but we are so proud of his part in this team. The youngest of the group and one of six children, Adebanji (above) is considering a career as a mechanical engineer. He came to The Ginn Academy after a series of discouraging incidents at other schools and a recommendation by his Muny League football coach. Only half of Banji's school day is spent at the Academy. He is enrolled in a post-secondary program in the afternoon: the High Tech Academy, located on Tri-C's metro campus. This dual-enrollment allows him to fulfill high school and college requirements concurrently.
Michael (above right), the only one of the three boys who has previously attended this competition (two years ago), enjoyed being part of the Dollars and $ense program. "It makes me think. Keeps my mind moving," he explains. He enjoyed meeting new people, seeing the buildings in San Francisco, and especially the breakfasts out each morning.
The school's partnership with the 100 Black Men organization has been a huge asset to the school and we look forward to a continued close relationship with these incredible mentors.