• Long Beach Breeze

Local sixth-grader wins contest awards

Special to Long Beach Breeze


Stone Kelly, age 12, a sixth-grader who attends St. Vincent De Paul Catholic School, was recently named the first-place winner in Mississippi and the sixth-place winner in the nation of the SIFMA Foundation’s Fall 2020 National InvestWrite Essay Competition, middle school division.


Stone Kelly and teacher Tara Meleones

Stone and his teacher, Tara Meleones, a long time Stock Market Game and InvestWrite educator, were honored at an all-school assembly by the SIFMA Foundation and the Mississippi Council on Economic Education during a surprise virtual presentation.

Beating out thousands of other students around the country competing in the middle school division, Kelly researched and composed a long-term financial plan for the competition, which bridges classroom learning in math, social studies and language arts with the practical research and knowledge required for saving, investing and long-term planning. It also serves as a culminating activity for The Stock Market Game™, an in-person, remote learning and hybrid educational tool in which students invest and manage a hypothetical $100,000 online portfolio of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and cash.


“SIFMA Foundation’s programs give youth of all backgrounds, especially in underserved communities, a real shot at financial independence and economic mobility,” said Melanie Mortimer, President of the SIFMA Foundation. “We equip and train teachers to offer essential skills and knowledge to their fourth- through twelfth-graders to navigate the capital markets and financial decision-making. To date, we’ve transformed the lives of twenty million students like Stone through learning that is practical and fun.”


The Fall 2020 InvestWrite competition challenged students to write an essay about how they’ve adapted to change at some point in their lives, how a publicly traded company has adapted to change, and how that company’s stock could be combined with other stocks, bonds or mutual funds to create a successful long-term portfolio.

Kelly developed a plan that would have an impact today and into the future and wowed the team of judges with his essay. His winning essay is about being afraid of heights and public company Apple Inc.


The Stock Market Game and InvestWrite are offered in Mississippi through the Mississippi Council on Economic Education.


“We honor and congratulate Stone and his teacher, Tara Meleones,” said Selena Swartzfager, President of the Mississippi Council on Economic Education, “Helping Mississippi students better understand our economy, our markets, the role of investors, and how to make good investments will pay dividends for the students, their education, and the Mississippi economy.”



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