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A SLAM Dunk Program

WILBRAHAM, Mass (WGGB) – For those of us who don’t really understand Wall Street and investing, this week has been enough to make your head spin. But for 22 high school and college students, it’s been a learning experience, one that’s making a difference.

For the last two months, students from American International College, Western New England University and Springfield’s High School of Science and Technology have been meeting at The Wilbraham and Monson Academy for a daily education on economics.

SLAM was funded through a 150 thousand dollar grant from Palmer Paving and its CEO David Callahan. It required the students to complete a research project that examined and analyzed over 18 hundred junior mining companies.

Dennis Murphy, a spokesman for Palmer Paving told WGGB that Dave Callahan felt that they needed further information about junior mining opportunities, which is part of the business they’re in.

And it also answered a challenge by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno to the business community to give young people more opportunities.

Murphy adds that it’s the Callahan family’s goal to see if these bright young men and women can return to this region, after pursuing an academic career and return to this community.

Sarah Garlick is a finance major at Western New England taking part in SLAM. She says the program  has increased her general knowledge on how to analyze certain companies and when it’s a perfect time to sell and buy your stock.

Real hands on experience in a week where Wall Street has taken a real roller coaster ride. Murphy says, “We find it particularly ironic that what’s happening on Wall Street mirrors what’s happening in this room where we have 22 of Springfield’s best and brightest learning about career opportunities.”

These students teamed up to research individual mining companies and developed a sound grading system to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each company as investment opportunities.

Franklin Webb was selected by his school, Sci Tech, to take part in SLAM. He says, “This is a great learning experience. I learned so much and I will never learn anything like I learned here ever again. So I love this idea, I love this whole program.”

The students were paid 12 dollars an hour for their work and were able to earn college credit. And their research will help Palmer Paving in its work.

Dennis Murphy calls SLAM a win/win for everyone, “To see the exuberance come from them, particularly as the program concludes, they’re all leaving here with higher hopes and higher expectations of themselves and I think ultimately that can only bring greater benefits to the region that we’re living in.”


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