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Investing strategies pay off for personal finance student

Classroom announcement of state and national writing honors surprises Forest Hills Northern junior

Forest Hills — A Forest Hills Northern junior’s knowledge of investment strategies is among the top in the nation. 

As Omri Cohen and his classmates settled in to their personal finance class on Monday, teacher Brian Johnson welcomed Jessica Bayer, InvestWrite’s National Program Manager, via Zoom. She began reading parts of this year’s Michigan fall essay winner, but no one in class seemed to recognize whose it was — not even the prize winner himself. 

Junior Omri Cohen displays the hardware he earned for his prize-winning InvestWrite entry

Surprise! Not only did Omri win the state competition, he came in ninth in the nation for his essay on strategies for successful stock market investing. 

The contest is sponsored by the SIFMA Foundation, which provides financial education programs for teachers and individuals. Essays are based on the Stock Market Game; both the essay and game are essential components of the personal finance class at Northern. 

Essay writing “gives kids an opportunity to apply critical thinking skills as they write about the investing strategies they used” in the game, Johnson said.

To the applause of classmates, Omri accepted a championship-size trophy; Johnson also placed a medal around his neck and gave him two $100 gift cards, one for each level of accomplishment.

Omri was the last to know about the honor; his parents and teacher worked together to surprise him with the news. He said he did have an inkling as Bayer read the winning excerpts: “I had an idea it might be me because of the word ‘paramount.’ That’s a word I would use.”

Omri is sure he’ll use what he learned in the game and explained in the essay; he noted that he had made good returns on the $100,000 simulation the game provides: “I definitely will follow the strategies when I invest when I’m older.”

Explore more unique video stories of students learning, interesting school programs and educators working to help all children succeed.

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Carol Lautenbach
Carol Lautenbach
Carol Jasperse Lautenbach served in many roles during her 29 years in Godfrey-Lee Public Schools, most recently as assistant superintendent for teaching and learning design, a role she retired from in 2021. She is co-author of “Making Schools Work: Bringing the science of learning to joyful classroom practice” and has written for The Alan Review, The Rapidian, and Midwest Living. She was honored to be appointed to Governor Gretchen Whitmer's 2021 Student Recovery Advisory Council’s Innovation and Redesign subcommittee. Carol is inspired by the students, educators, families, community partners, cultural institutions, and philanthropists who work together to design and build joyful, equitable learning communities.


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