KWHS Launches a Summer Finance Academy to Help High School Students ‘Pay It Forward’

by Diana Drake

To understand the power of financial literacy is to see it in action. One of the most positive facets of running the Knowledge@Wharton High School Investment Competition, which this year involved 3,107 students and 320 teachers from 345 schools in 15 countries, has not only been building students’ financial knowledge, but also witnessing their willingness to share that new knowledge with others. High school students across the globe are literally “paying it forward.”

On March 16, 2019, during the investment competition Region 3 finals in Philadelphia that involved 12 student investment teams from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Brazil, the team leader from last year’s 2018 Region 3 and Global Finale winning team, All You Can Eat Buffett, urged the high school students in the room to do their part by helping to solve the crisis in financial education.

“Financial illiteracy is the root of our country’s problems.” — Sid Muralidhar

“One of my biggest takeaways from the KWHS Investment Competition has been to give back,” said Sid Muralidhar, who is now a freshman at Virginia Tech and attended this year’s competition to share how his experience competing and winning in the KWHS competition has impacted his life in the past year. “Financial illiteracy is the root of our country’s problems, and you all are learning a lot. Make sure you are teaching others what you’ve learned. I was in Russia last year and got to present to them about financial literacy. They had zero knowledge. It was a great experience.”

Many competing teams have already embraced the spirit of sharing financial knowledge, which is at the heart of the Knowledge@Wharton mission. Filter Coffee Investments, this year’s Region 2 first-place team from Amity International School in Noida, India, is one example. “As we educated ourselves on the world of investment, we decided to share our knowledge with others and thus spread financial literacy,” said the team, which includes seven high school students. The team conducted a financial seminar at Nai Umang, an NGO for senior citizens; placed “stickers of investing know-how” on the coffee cups in their school canteen; and read out daily financial news over the high school loud speaker each morning. Olympians, the third-place Region 2 team of five high school students from Amity International School, Vasundhara in Ghaziabad, India, organized a TEDx talk about investing for school students and teachers, and created an Instagram page to help spread financial literacy.


Knowledge@Wharton High School believes more than ever that financial knowledge in the hands of teens can be a powerful thing. That’s why this summer we are launching a new two-week Global Young Leaders Academy summer program for high school students on Wharton’s Philadelphia campus that is focused on finance and investing. With the guidance of Wharton faculty and PhD students, participants will explore all aspects of finance, from the time value of money and corporate finance, to ethics and investment decision-making. Students will trade on Wharton’s Online Trading & Investment Simulator — using real-world market data without risking real money — and develop and deliver a team-based investment project. In addition to rigorous course work, GYLA students collaborate closely in smaller teams, experience campus life, develop relationships with classmates from around the world, and discover Philadelphia and other local destinations.

  • GYLA-Finance Session 1: June 23 – July 6, 2019
  • GYLA-Finance Session 2: July 7 – July 20, 2019
  • GYLA-Finance Session 3: July 21 – August 3, 2019

High school students are hungry for a deeper understanding of finance and ways to improve the life skill of financial decision making. During the March 16 Region 3 investment competition in Philadelphia, competitor Madeleine Roberts, a high school junior from Maclay School in Tallahassee, Florida, U.S., said, “The ability to gain hands-on experience with money management and investing is truly amazing. Financial literacy isn’t emphasized nowadays as much as it should be, especially among kids. A lot of people fail to realize how important an acquaintance with finance and economics is — a person can go his whole life without needing or encountering multi-variable calculus, but everyone must deal with money at some point or another.”

Encourage high school students to start building financial confidence today! You can learn more about our GYLA-Finance summer program HERE. And you can apply HERE. Pay it forward! #KWHSInvests