Learning Together: Finance Club at San Francisco High School Teaches FGI Curriculum
Teo Manzo was a sophomore at George Washington High School in San Francisco, California when he launched his school’s first extra-curricular finance organization. Now a high school senior and president of the group, he started the organization with the purpose of bringing students at his high school together to educate each other across a range of topics. Through collaborative conversations and group teaching sessions, students learn by doing; teaching each other the nuances of markets and finance and encouraging lots of questions. “We don’t always like to refer to it as a finance club or an investing group,” says Teo “because that can come across as intimidating to some kids, and we want to welcome everyone.” Teo encourages students to join the club regardless of prior knowledge.
About a year after initiating the group, Teo and his co-founders decided to raise funds and expand the club into a student-run portfolio. To help them find an avenue to do so, they reached out to volunteers from First Generation Investors (FGI). After connecting online with one of FGI’s founders, Teo felt inspired by the curriculum and decided to incorporate FGI’s lesson plans into his weekly meetings. The group began recruiting students for a chapter launch in the fall of 2022 and successfully held their first session two weeks ago.
When asked his favorite part of the journey, Teo says he feels empowered by the group’s mission to “expose students to a tool as important as understanding the stock market and how to invest.” There are many financial literacy programs, he says, but FGI is unique in that it encourages the continuation of self-education, investing, and networking well after high school. Teo met with some of FGI’s founders in person to talk more about the program and the possibility of starting his own hedge fund someday. “The main thing,” he says “is just that we’re bringing people together to teach and learn some important skills, skills that will serve us all in the long run.”