Registration is open for the 100 Black Men of Los Angeles’ 2022 Young Black Scholars Celebration of Achievement/Graduation Event, set for 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 5 at West Los Angeles College.

Hosted by 100 Black Men of Los Angeles (100BMLA), the event is in its 36th year in the community and will celebrate the young men and women who have taken part in a variety of 100BMLA programs, including Young Black Scholars College Preparatory Program; Pathways To Success Entrepreneurship Program; Junior Investment Program; and Lawndale School District after school mentoring program.

Graduating high school seniors will be honored and 100BMLA will grant several college scholarships.

“Our Junior Investment Program is in its second year,” said Kirk Williams, Sr., 100BMLA president and chairman of the board. “It is sponsored by Wells Fargo and Los Angeles Capital Management and is a four-month-long stock market simulation game.”

Thirty-five students, ranging from eighth graders to high school seniors, learned about the stock market, NASDAQ, stock exchange, investment strategies, crypto, and companies as investment vehicles.

“They were broken up into groups and given $100,000 in simulated money to invest over the four-month period,” Williams said. “They learned to invest in real time.”

The groups met nearly every Saturday, January through May at West L.A. College. The teenagers would review company financial reports and conduct a SWOT analysis on each company to find their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 

“Some class discussions would center around what was happening in the world, like the war in Ukraine and should they change their investment portfolios because of that,” Williams said. “They had to be aware of real world current events (e.g., oil shortage/rising gas prices) — and whether they should change their investment strategies.”

At the end of the session, groups competed in presenting their portfolios to the rest of the class, reviewing their investment updates and observations. 

“I think our judges—Los Angeles Capital Management—were impressed with what the students learned over the course of four months,” Williams said.

To learn more about the 100BMLA programs and to RSVP for the 2022 Young Black Scholars’ Celebration of Achievement/Graduation, visit https://www.100bmla.net/.

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