CKMS student’s suggestion a winner

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School student Aubrey Bechard, with medal, is congratulated by Rob Lansdell of Edward Jones, her grandmother Nancy Aaen, mother Cheryl Bechard, father Jason Bechard, and sisters Baye and Adeline, and CKMS teacher Tyler Gage, on being named the state’s first-place winner of the InvestWright essay competition.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School student Aubrey Bechard, center, reacts after receiving her first-place trophy and medal from Rob Lansdell of Edward Jones, Kalaheo, left, and teacher Tyler Gage, Wednesday morning at the school.

If Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School student Aubrey Bechard could offer advice to her entrepreneural idol, it would be to invest in her team and grow her business.

Bechard, a seventh-grader, penned the suggestion in her InvestWrite essay, and was voted the winner of the state competition that involved a sixth- to eighth-grade student picking an entrepreneur he or she admired, researching the entrepreneur’s company, and suggesting ways they could use cash leftovers after the company successfully raised cash in the capital markets.

“As a growing business entrepreneur, I would advise my client to invest her extra cash and grow her long-term financial returns,” Bechard wrote in her winning essay. “I would advise her to invest in her team, grow her business, and improve her Search Engine Optimization. I believe that by accomplishing these ways to use her extra cash, it will contribute to the nonprofit’s bright and shining future.”

InvestWrite is a national essay competition in which students participating in the Stock Market Game presented by the SIFMA Foundation (Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association) must analyze an investment scenario and recommend steps for short- and long-term financial goals.

“Yes, we are very proud of Aubrey, and all three of our daughters,” said Cheryl Bechard, Aubrey’s mother. “Aubrey has talent and natural ability, but probably more important, she has perseverance and grit. Aubrey has also had some elementary and middle-school teachers who have been really exceptional. In addition to her teachers, she has had extracurricular teachers in dance, drama, singing, film, media, band and art who believe in our keiki and encourage them to grow, strive and to stretch themselves. Teachers are so important, and really do make a difference.”

Tyler Gage, the career, technical education and finance teacher at CKMS, said this is the first time the school has offered a CTE (career and technical education) finance course.

“I am very proud of what the students have achieved. The class won first and second places in the Stock Market Game for the state of Hawaii, and the class was very successful. Many students signed up for next year as well as an advanced CTE finance course for students who completed the first course, to build on learning to expand on the ins and outs of becoming an entrepreneur,” Gage said.

“Teachers are the backbone of InvestWrite,” said Rob Lansdell of Edward Jones Kalaheo said. “They are the reason the program has become so successful.”

The SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game is an online simulation of global capital markets for students in grades 4 through 12, and reinforces science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning and 21st century skills as well as economics and finance. InvestWrite builds on what students learn in the Stock Market Game to further explore practical decision-making.


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