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Kramer earns first place in InvestWrite essay competition PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kyle Arnoldy   

It came as a complete surprise to Holyoke High School senior Caitlyn Kramer when she was informed in February that she had taken first place in SIFMA Foundation’s InvestWrite high school essay competition. Her surprise was based on the fact that when she handed in her essay during the first semester of Kristie Ham’s introduction to business course, she was completely unaware that Ham intended to submit the top three essays in class to the state competition.

“Mrs. Ham didn’t tell us it was a contest,” explained Kramer, “She told us it was a class assignment so we would all do better, so I was pretty surprised when I found out I won.”

Kramer was recognized at the SIFMA Foundation Stock Market Game Awards Ceremony at the University of Colorado-Boulder Thursday, May 23. For her award-winning essay, Kramer received a $100 gift certificate and Ham was awarded a $25 gift certificate. Kramer was also given a large trophy, which will be added to Holyoke High School’s trophy case.

Roughly 20,000 students participate in the competition nationwide each year. The SIFMA Foundation’s InvestWrite competition aims to challenge children in grade school through high school to analyze an investment scenario and create short- and long-term financial goals. Kramer was asked to pick a real-world stock, bond or mutual fund and describe an actual political or economic event that could increase the price and one that could reduce the price.


Caitlyn Kramer displays the trophy she earned by placing first in SIFMA Foundation’s InvestWrite high school essay competition for Colorado. The trophy will be housed at Holyoke High School.  —Enterprise photo

She then had to explain if she thought her choice was a wise investment given the current events and global economy. The essay is the final phase for the more than 600,000 students nationwide who compete in The Stock Market Game each year.

Kramer took the information she learned about the stock market and business in the class and paired it with her knowledge and interest in agriculture to piece together her essay entitled “2012 Drought Affects Ag Companies.”

“I knew how the drought was affecting our family farm so I wanted to think about the crop and cattle side and how the drought affected large companies,” Kramer said.

Through the assignment, Kramer said she was surprised by how linked local prices were affected by global events. Ham noted that while many students chose to speak on Hurricane Sandy’s effect on prices of various goods, Kramer was able to make the connection between the concepts learned and apply them to what was going on around her.

By winning the state competition, Kramer’s essay has been entered into the national competition for a chance to win a three-day, two-night trip to New York City for a “Wall Street experience.” Judging for the national event will take place in the fall.

Essays were judged based on the student’s understanding of the subject matter, rationale and writing style.

Although Kramer has always had a passion for agriculture as she grew up in a farming/ranching family, the class and project helped her identify that ag business was something she wanted to pursue. She mentioned her interest in the possibility of running a cattle operation later in life.

In the fall she will be attending Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington, Wyo., where she plans to study general ag, focusing on ag business.


Holyoke Enterprise June 20, 2013