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Lincoln Park High School Wins the 5th Annual Magnetar Academy Team Challenge as Competition Sets Participation Record

Magnetar Youth Investment Academy, an innovative high school-based financial education program, held its fifth annual Magnetar Academy Team Challenge on Saturday at Chicago’s Soldier Field. The event brings together high school students from Chicago and its suburbs for a vibrant stock trading competition. This year’s edition saw the highest attendance in the event’s history, with approximately 375 students trading as part of 45 teams. There were 34 schools represented, and over 50 financial industry professionals volunteered their time to advise students as team coaches.

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2017 Magnetar Academy Team Challenge winning team Lincoln Park High School. (Photo: Business Wire)

2017 Magnetar Academy Team Challenge winning team Lincoln Park High School. (Photo: Business Wire)

This year’s competition was won by Lincoln Park High School, a Chicago public school on the near north side. Whitney Young High School came in second place, while Richards Career Academy rounded out the top three. The competition’s financial literacy quiz was won by Jones College Prep.

Numerous firms from across the financial services industry came together to support the Challenge, including: Baird, Bay Crest Partners, BMO Capital Markets, CISCO, Cowen Group, Intercontinental Exchange, Macro Risk Advisors, MKM Partners, Royal Bank of Canada, Wedbush, and Wells Fargo Securities.

A number of inspiring speakers also contributed to the event’s success. Grammy award-winning rapper, activist and producer Che “Rhymefest” Smith spoke to the students about the power of learning to control your finances at a young age, being your authentic self, and the importance of giving back to Chicago. CBS reporter Derrick Young led the financial literacy quiz while City of Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers reminded the students to not only learn to invest money, but to invest in themselves. For the first time, the event also featured a Magnetar Academy alum, as Lilly Martinez -- a current junior at the University of Wisconsin and a 2013 Challenge participant with Golder College Prep -- spoke to the crowd about how she is utilizing the financial literacy skills she learned from Magnetar Academy as a college student.

“True power is the power to empower others,” said Smith. “Magnetar Academy gives young people tools they can use after the course is over. That’s what makes this program so powerful.”

“I’m thrilled to be able to come back to the Magnetar Academy Team Challenge and speak to the students,” said Martinez. “The Magnetar Academy has helped me find direction in my own career and future, and it’s wonderful to see how much the Academy has grown since I participated five years ago.”

“You can really see how much time and effort the kids have put into preparing for this competition, and how passionate they are about performing well,” said Alec Litowitz, founder and CEO of Magnetar Capital. “Congratulations to Lincoln Park High School, and congratulations to all the schools for making this our biggest Magnetar Academy Team Challenge yet.”

The Magnetar Academy Team Challenge is the capstone event of the Magnetar Youth Investment Academy, which was created in 2012 to offer financial literacy curriculum to teachers at Chicago high schools. This program is available at no cost to schools and provides financial education curriculum to nearly 70 schools in the Chicago area, and has served over 10,000 students since its inception.

About the Magnetar Youth Investment Academy

Magnetar Youth Investment Academy is an innovative high school-based financial education program provided for free to more than 150 Chicago high school classrooms that has reached over 10,000 teens since its inception in 2012. The Academy’s goal is to provide students – especially those from lower income communities – with the tools they need to lead financially informed and successful lives.

Through classroom and experiential learning, students are prepped to make financial decisions throughout their lifetime with money management skills including budgeting, credit, saving and investing.

Academy Facts:

  • 10,000+ student participants to date
  • 150+ Chicago area teachers trained to provide financial literacy instruction
  • 450+ Magnetar Academy classes to date
  • $250,000+ in college scholarships and school grants awarded
  • 1000+ students have participated in Magnetar Academy Team Challenges
  • 180 volunteer participants from Chicagoland financial firms
  • 93 schools have implemented the program to date

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About Magnetar Capital

Magnetar Capital is a $13B asset manager headquartered in Evanston, IL. The Magnetar Capital Foundation was created five years ago to extend the intellectual capital of the firm by supporting financial education among high school students. The main way this is accomplished is through the Magnetar Youth Investment Academy.

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