Photo Courtesy of hcpss.org

Raymond Brown
Staff Reporter
November 28, 2017


For students with dreams of working on Wall Street, the ARL Academy of Finance may be the perfect place. The program provides its students with a unique opportunity to become immersed with the business world starting in 11th grade.  ARL students collaborate with local business professionals and participate in an internship in the field of finance.

“I really just wanted to pursue a career path that would lead me closer to a college education and help me succeed in college,”said junior Semi Adeyeye.

Like Adeyeye, junior Maxwell Murray wants to study finance in college and enjoys the topics covered in this academy. “I find that learning about the stock market and investments is really smart and can help you in finance, so ARL was just a good decision to make,” he said.

The ARL was designed for students to get an in-depth view of various career academies. In the Academy of Finance, students learn about the financial planning process, borrowing and credit, insurance, investing, retirement and estate planning, contemporary issues in financial planning, and career development in financial planning.

Every month, the Academy of Finance students speak with an advisory board, according to Adeyeye. “That is why when you see us roaming the halls during the school day we are in business attire, so we can look presentable to the board,” he added.

Murray appreciates that this academy helps him learn how to speak at events and interact with people, a crucial skill in conducting business in the real world. “We do a lot of presentations and practice our speaking skills along with our networking skills,” he said.

ARL attracts a wide variety of students from schools across the county with a range of personalities, backgrounds, and home environments. With that said, the Academy of Finance is a small group. “There weren’t many of us there, so we all developed a good relationship with each other,” Victoria Brown said, a former two-year Academy of Finance student. She continued to say that since they were together every day for two years, she learned how to work hard, collaborate on group projects, and at the same time remain respectful with one another.  After the first few weeks of the academy, Brown noted that once everyone came out of their shells, she even found a few friends in the class.

The Academy of Finance seems to benefit students that want to make new friends, meet local business owners, and learn to interact with people and navigate the stock market.  ARL can open its participants up to a lot of different opportunities, even if the students do not plan on majoring in finance in college.

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Raymond, known as RJ by his peers, is a sophomore at Atholton. A Chicago native, his family moved here when he was in second grade. RJ has an older sister named Victoria in addition to one cat and one dog named Silver and Kiki. He fills his spare time with hobbies such as basketball, 2K, and shoe collecting. His favorite brands include Jordan, True Religion, and Nike. RJ plays for the school basketball team and looks forward to the season ahead.