Public Info

Union County Students Awarded in “Stock Market Challenge”

Students from 10 school districts in Union County participated in a four-week interactive financial literacy course this spring, called the “2021 Stock Market Challenge.” The course was hosted by the Zeta Nu Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in Plainfield, with support from Union County Commissioner, Dr. Angela Garretson. The organization sought to empower local youth with insights and experience on investing in the stock market.

“Financial literacy is extremely important, and this partnership between school districts and the Zeta Nu Lambda Chapter demonstrates the impact that local organizations can have when they bring their skills, experience, and networks to engage with school-age youth,” said Union County Commissioner Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

“I hope this program leads to additional school district partnerships in our community, to help provide the up-and-coming generation of students with the tools they need in understanding the ever increasing complexity of the financial world, including the role mathematics and economics play in this space,” said Commissioner Garretson, who engaged a total of 19 school districts to participate in the Stock Market Challenge.

The Stock Market Challenge was presented by Zeta Nu Lambda chapter president, Sherlock Dow, along with guest speakers on various topics including ETFs and cryptocurrency as well as real estate, futures, options, stocks and bonds.

The interactive course provided the students with the opportunity to assume the virtual role of professional money managers as they operated their own diversified investment portfolios, working in teams.

A total of 110 students in grades 7-12 participated in the course, which met once a week from April 22 to May 13.

Union County school districts participating in the program were Plainfield, Springfield, Scotch Plains-Fanwood, New Providence, Westfield, Berkeley Heights, Union Township, Summit, Roselle, and the Union County Vocational-Technical Schools.

At the conclusion of the course, students Jasmin Person of Plainfield and Kyley Johnson of Roselle school districts were named two of three winners in the “Team Winner” category.

In addition, students Justin Bugarin of Plainfield and Leah Brogden of Berkeley Heights were named two of three winners in the “Individual Winner” category.

The additional participating districts outside of Union County were Cherry Hill, New Brunswick, Edison, Franklin, South Orange-Maplewood, Monroe Township, Piscataway, West Orange, and Hillsborough.

The award-winning Union County Vocational-Technical School District is located at 1776 Raritan Road in Scotch Plains. For more information visit

For additional information about the Stock Market Challenge contact Sherlock Dow,

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Union County COVID-19 Test Center at Kean University, the Mobile Test Unit, vaccination information, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at

For all Union County programs and services visit, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email or use the online Contact Form.

Connect with Union County on social media.