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Junior Achievement Announces Winners of November Virtual Stock Market Challenge

News Release  
January 18, 2022

For more information, contact:
Alycia Ivancie
Education Director
716-853-1381, ext. 215          

Junior Achievement Announces Winners of November Virtual Stock Market Challenge

(Buffalo, NY) After proven success with a new virtual event model engaging 1,184 students last school year, Junior Achievement of WNY continues to provide a popular Stock Market Challenge learning experience for WNY high school students.  During the month of November, 686 students from 17 WNY high schools participated in a month-long competition of stock market trading to see who would take top prizes. Prior to the JA Stock Market Challenge, JA provides the JA Take Stock in Your Future curriculum to introduce students to basic concepts about how the market works and the impact of current events. This new curriculum includes a series of self-guided extension activities for students to engage in deeper learning about the stock market and investing.

Wells Fargo is the Presenting Sponsor of this unique and interactive JA learning experience.

The competition was held online and allows students to experience the real-life stock market in a simulated environment. Students chose to compete as individuals or as teams. Participants began with a $25,000 starting portfolio and were encouraged to make transactions throughout the weeks. Leaderboards were dynamic and were shared on social media weekly using the hashtag #JAWNYStockMarketChallenge.

At the close of competition, Junior Achievement (JAWNY) is pleased to recognize Sam Radke, from Depew High School, as the first- place winner. Sam ended the competition with a $29,263.96 portfolio, a 17% return on investment (ROI). Of the experience, Sam said “This year's JAWNY Virtual Stock Market Challenge was very fun, educational and exciting. Before the virtual challenge I knew close to nothing about the stock market, but after doing this I now know a lot more and can invest in the future and can also possibly explore getting involved in careers in the stock market in the future. It was very exciting to check the rankings every day and to watch my investment grow. In the end it was a great experience and I'm very glad I was able to experience it in my last year of high school. 

Second place went to Aubrey Corbett, also from Depew High School. Aubrey ended the competition with a portfolio of $28,069.38, a 12.2% ROI. Aubrey said, “This was my first Stock Market Challenge and I absolutely loved it! It was a great learning experience and extended my knowledge of stocks and what's going on in the real world. I'd have to say my favorite part of the challenge was the friendly competition between myself and friends from other schools as well as in class. Everyone involved got very into depth. We checked first thing on our ranks when we got into class as well as to the point where we were sending each other updates out of school and kept the thrill going. I really enjoyed this experience and would love to participate again in the future, thank you to Junior Achievement and all of their sponsors!”

Third place winner, Jack Sahi, from Kenmore East High School, was right behind with a closing portfolio of $27,986.31, an ROI of 11.9%. According to Business Teacher James Rustowicz, “Jack worked extremely hard over the course of this competition, devoting his free periods and time after school to learning about different stocks and following current events as they impacted the market as a whole and individual stocks.”

Rounding out the Top 10 rankings and ROI are:
4th Place: Grace Heppner (Pioneer) $27,468.83
5th Place: Sean Pustulka (Pembroke) 9.3%
6th Place:  Brandon Drummond (St. Francis) 7.7%
7th Place:  Grant Harrer (Lockport) 7.1%
8th Place:  Patrick Waggoner (St. Francis) 6.6%
9th Place:  Oscar Kelleran (East Aurora) 6.5%
10th Place: Gerry Eberl (St. Francis) 6.1%

Top ten students received prizes in the form of gift cards, with the top three students also receiving an iPad Air courtesy of HSBC Bank

Participating area High Schools:
Erie County
: Alden, Amherst, City Honors, Depew, East Aurora, Grand Island, Hamburg, Kenmore East, Math, Science, Tech (MST) and St. Francis.
Niagara County: Lockport, Niagara Falls.
Genesee County: Alexander, Batavia, Pembroke.
Cattaraugus County: Pioneer.
Chautauqua County: Fredonia.

This program is not possible without support from Presenting Sponsor Wells Fargo and many other generous sponsors:

This interactive learning experience will take place again during the month of April 2022. Please contact Alycia Ivancie for more information.

Proceeds from the virtual JA Stock Market Challenge support Junior Achievement’s financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and career & work-readiness pathway programs for kindergarten-12th grade students. For more information about Junior Achievement programs, visit

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