What if all youth understood how to buy Nike Stock?

This is the aspirational vision of CLIMB USA which operates a summertime version of a simulated stock investing platform. The irony is that its easier (and cheaper) to buy the stock than it is to buy the shoes. With an online brokerage account and a few taps on the phone, one could be a proud shareholder of one of the most influential corporate brands in the entire world. 

The vision of all youth and even all adults knowing how to buy stock and build a long-term investment portfolio is actually attainable, thanks to an eight-week summertime program entitled “the Stock 

Market Experience (SME)”, that CLIMB USA launched in collaboration with Economics Wisconsin and 

the SIFMA Foundation in 2020. The summer season afforded an uncomplicated way to allow youth 

to enroll in the pedagogical game as families, or through youth-serving organizations. 

The program is accessible, free, and requires no more than an hour or so weekly to fully engage and participate. “This is a program that teaches important life lessons, and it can be embedded inside any other youth development or sports programs that are offered to youth throughout the country”, noted Donald Dantzler, CLIMB USA’s vice president of programs and operations.  

The 2023 Stock Market Experience Program is being revamped this year, offering multiple competition divisions. There will be the traditional youth division; regional competitions (including Madison vs Milwaukee!); and new this summer, a fully competitive adult division.

 “Our goal is to approach equity and inclusion by educating and empowering individuals to include and assert themselves into the economic framework”, explained Robert Wynn, founder and president of CLIMB USA. “Since the capital markets drive wealth generation, it only makes sense that educators, community leaders, policymakers and corporate influencers double down on the effort to ensure that all citizens have the requisite knowledge and tools to engage in the wealth creation process. This is our way of leveling the economic playing field.” 

CLIMB USA is issuing a clarion call for all community members to join the educational fun this summer. To learn how to enroll community youth, families, affinity groups, and others, be sure to attend one of two Stock Market Experience Virtual Open Houses at 4 p.m. central time on either April 4 or April 9.

Register for the Open Houses at www.climbusa.org/stock-market-experience. Orientation sessions and a special virtual kickoff event will take place in May and June, respectively. For more information on the SME and other CLIMB Programs go to www.climbusa.org.  

The Stock Market Experience and CLIMB’s other programs are free to participants thanks to support in part from CUNA Mutual Foundation, African American Credit Union Coalition, Hundred Men of Dane County, Rennebohm Foundation, Evinrude Foundation, Summit Credit Union and others.  

CLIMB USA’s vision of a “Great Day” is the day when all citizens have the knowledge and capacity to build intergenerational wealth.  This will take a New Way, which has been dubbed, “The CLIMB Wave”.