Current Baker Scholar and Alumnus Partner to Improve High School Investors Club
Baker Scholar Liz Schropp (C’21) recently partnered with alumnus Mike Scanlan (C’86), dean of administration at St. Benedict’s Prep School in Newark, NJ, to educate high school students about investment strategy as part of a student-run club. The membership in the club has tripled since it was first started last year due in part to the participation of Georgetown students.
Schropp, who is a mathematics major with a minor in business administration, is involved with the Georgetown University Student Investment Fund (GUSIF) as the former director of personnel. In the summer of 2020, Schropp was introduced to Scanlan through the Baker Scholar’s alumni network and the two realized that GUSIF students could help develop the Gray Bee Investors Club at St. Benedict’s.
The investors club, which was started by high school juniors Justin Crespo and Amari Thompson in March of 2020, began so that students at St. Benedict’s could understand the vocabulary and structure of investing before graduating.
When the club first began, students met virtually once a week with alumni of St. Benedict’s who have made financial strategy their careers. They learned from them through lectures and analyses of a simulated stock market game.
However, Scanlan knew that the high school students could also benefit from individuals who were closer to their own age. After meeting Schropp, Scanlan set up bi-weekly meetings with GUSIF students and members of the Gray Bee Investor’s Club.
“The Hoyas are one of the highlights of the club because of the way they relate to the students and make the topics understandable,” says Scanlan. “Since they have become involved, the investors club has grown from 20 to 60 students. My students tell me that they really look forward to the meetings when Georgetown students attend.”
Schropp and Amaan Chaudhry (MSB’21) have expanded GUSIF’s involvement in the club and personalized the Gray Bee Investors meetings since getting involved. During each meeting, two GUSIF members are assigned to a breakout room with 10 students, where they discuss each high schooler’s mock financial portfolio.
Cultivating a Club
“Being involved in the Gray Bee Investment Club is fun for us as Georgetown students because investing is something that most of us learned fairly recently,” says Schropp. “We can relate to their experiences as people who are new to this and can anticipate the types of questions they might have.”
Crespo and Thompson hope to expand Gray Bee in the future even after they have graduated.
“Amari and I have already started to work with first-years and sophomores who show potential and responsibility to be leaders of the club,” says Crespo. “We want to see younger guys turn the club into something bigger than it is now, especially since it’s so clear that there is a large interest.”
Thompson also says that he has noticed a huge difference in the club since GUSIF became involved and hopes to continue to develop the relationship between St. Benedict’s Prep and the university.
“I could tell in earlier meetings that younger and newer St. Benedict’s students weren’t as comfortable asking questions during our meetings, but now they feel empowered to ask questions to Georgetown students that they wouldn’t have before,” says Thompson. “In the future, we hope to secure funding so that our students can invest real money. We also want to continue to expose students to universities like Georgetown as an option for the college experience.”
“We are also very proud of one of our first club members, Aidan Davis (SFS’24), who’s now at Georgetown and a GUSIF member participating in our meetings as a Hoya, ” Thompson continues.
Scanlan and Schropp are also eager to continue the partnership, which was one upside to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since St. Benedict’s is in New Jersey and Georgetown in DC, this club only works because of everything we’ve learned in the past year about virtual meetings,” says Scanlan. When the pandemic shut the world down, our world at St. Benedict’s opened up by making us realize we have access to experts around the globe. “It is one way that the pandemic has created new opportunities that will be continued after it has ended.”
-by Shelby Roller (G’19)