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Juliet Namwanje, a Waukee High School senior, finished first place in the statewide Iowa High School Division for SIFMA’s InvestWrite national essay competition. The InvestWrite competition is an innovative national writing challenge that is produced by The Stock Market Game program. One of the overarching goals is to add a critical thinking component to help reinforce concepts learned in the classroom, and it serves as a great exercise for students to articulate their investment strategies. Being a part of this challenge allows students to gain a better feel for what professionals do in order to design-implement-monitor their strategies as well as pitch their strategies to prospective clients. Through this process, students also discover unique details about companies (environmental issues, workforce support, etc.) that many adults are often unaware of.

Juliet is a Waukee APEX alumna of the Finance, Banking, and Investments course.  Her entry was 1 of 1,700 submitted nationally and assessed and evaluated why Walmart, Shopify, and FedEx would be great prospective long-term investments. She examined how each company restructured and adapted to the business landscape during the pandemic in each of their respective sectors and industries. She also related this to her daily life during the pandemic, and how she was forced to change and adapt to the changing world around her. In response to learning that her essay had a first-place finish, she stated, “Learning that my essay won first place was very exciting and was a huge surprise to me! Being a part of this experience exposed me to the world of business and personal finance and taught me a lot about how I should conduct myself professionally. Receiving this prize is a great honor and is a strong foundation for my future career goals.”

In response to learning that one of his student associates placed first in the competition, Jesse Hunt, Waukee APEX Finance, Banking, and Investments instructor shared, “Juliet is such a strong communicator and her skills shined through in the InvestWrite competition.  Her essay regarding overcoming the adversity she faced during this COVID pandemic as well as her ability to relate her experience with publicly traded companies was simply fantastic. She has a bright future ahead of her!”

Juliet’s first-place finish brings along a $100 gift card along with a trophy that will be kept at the Waukee Innovation and Learning Center. Congratulations to Juliet on a job well done!