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How these Coppell teens are using the stock market to aid their community

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A group of Coppell teens are not only investing in themselves but also in their community.

Kevin Sampath, 17, began investing in his childhood. Starting a few years ago, senior Koppel now manages his mother’s Roth IRA account. This passion inspired the boy to create an investment club with his friends that is now beneficial to local charities.

“Our main mission statement is like going against the common stereotype that investors are in it only for themselves,” Sampath said. “They invest at the expense of others. We show that you can also invest on behalf of others.”

Originally, Sampath wanted to set up an investment club at the school, so he approached friends about joining. However, campus leaders rejected the idea, noting that Kopel Hay already had a surplus of business-focused clubs.

Still wanting to set up the group, Sampath persuaded his friends to set up the charity investment club outside the school in January 2020.

Founding members Aksh Tyagi, Rohan Nalla, Prabhav Kumbum, Rohan Pritmani and Nikshith Konnuru are all still at the club serving as board members, along with Sampath as chairman of the board. Anshul Shah later joined the club as a member and is now marketing director.

“What really sold me the idea was the fact that he told me how we would first learn about the stock market but also use everything we learned to make a positive difference,” said Tiagi, a senior at Coppell High.

The club spent this spring teaching each other about investing and the operation of the stock market as a whole. When summer came, the club made its first venture into investing with money raised by its six original members, Sampath said.

The club’s first donation was to the North Texas Food Bank, where they provided more than 200 pounds of peanut butter.

Eager to make a bigger impact, the charity investment club has moved to a registered charity, Sampath said.

Little Elm ISD Superintendent Daniel Gallagher, far left, and other officials at the school are listening to the parent while listening to the response to the high school student protest, which led to pepper shreds for teens and one tasting.

The club currently has about 20 members. Some are analysts who watch and notice how stocks are doing. Others work with marketing and fundraising teams. The final decision on which shares to invest comes from the group’s board of directors.

Everything done through the club is about learning, with Sampath and the founding members being mostly self-taught. The first summer they started investing was full of rates on profits and losses, he noted.

“Experience is a really great teacher in the world of the stock market,” Sampath said.

One of the group’s biggest cheerleaders is Brian Simpson, a business teacher from Coppell High.

Simpson, who helped with the club’s first press release, noted that teens are more up to date in the market and what’s happening in stocks than many others. It is encouraging to see students doing such in-depth research and sharing with each other, Simpson added.

“These days, we are not supposed to have a class or class where the teacher only puts out information about students,” Simpson said. “Students are the resource now.”

Between having fun and building something with his friends, each board member has his own personal reason for staying involved with the club.

The plague disrupted learning in schools across Texas.

For Tyagi, who works with the team of analysts, it’s the ability to teach new members the principles of investing. When the 17-year-old joined the club, he was not as proficient in the field as his friends, but deepened his learning as time went on.

Kombom, a senior, enjoys coordinating donations with nonprofits and seeing how their donations translate into real-life outcomes. The club recently donated funds to sponsor a day of meals at The Stewpot, a homeless shelter in Dallas.

Not every member wants to pursue investing as a career. Some are interested in finance but others tend to unrelated fields, like computer science. Regardless, everyone wants to pursue a career in which they can make an impact.

The management – all senior – hopes to continue the club even after graduation. They want to create enough experiences for younger members so that the lower students can continue in the club. Some are even considering completing the assignment for college.

“We’re just trying to create a legacy of breaking down social barriers of influential youth in the world,” said Fritmani, a senior official. “The goal right now is to simply create that foundation.”

DMN’s Education Lab deepens coverage and discussion of urgent education issues critical to the future of North Texas.

The DMN Education Lab is a community-funded journalistic initiative, with support from the Beck, Bobby and Lottie Lyle Group, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation, Dallas Regional Chamber, Deedie Rose, The Meadows Foundation, Solutions Journalism Network, Southern Methodist University and the Tod A. Family Foundation. Williams. The Dallas Morning News maintains full editorial control over the education lab’s journalism.

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