Business and stock investments are normally not what comes to mind when thinking of a high school summer break. But for a group of students at Plano’s Shepton High School, stock research was at the forefront of their interests.
As a sophomore, student John Rho and his friends begged a math teacher at Shepton to help them start an investing club at the school.
Now at Plano West Senior High School, the students have transformed the club into Cash Club, a student-run nonprofit.
“Initially we didn't really expect that much traction, we just thought it would be a couple of friends and our officer team meeting up and talking about business and the stock market,” Rho said.
“But after our first two meetings we realized that we soon had almost 100 people showing up to every meeting just to talk about business and the stock market.”
Rho said his love for business came from a summer camp at Duke University he attended in the months before his freshman year.
“I thought it was pretty fun because I got to meet a lot of new people, but one thing that really piqued my interest was being able to be exposed to a lot of college-level curriculum about economics at such a young age,” Rho said.
At the camp Rho learned from a recent Duke graduate about investing. His friends back home in Plano expressed similar interests.
“We were just a group of friends, we all play basketball together and we decided after freshman year that we wanted to do something special with business because our school didn't really have that opportunity,” Rho said.
Rho and his friends found it easy to register the club as a nonprofit but had some trouble with the legal side of the organization.
“What we realized was that we couldn't open a bank account as just minors because we were all like 17, 16, and the bank was like 'That's really cool guys, you guys are doing something interesting, but we're not allowed to open up this account for you,’” he said.
With interests coming in from other Dallas-area schools, the friends sat down at their local Starbucks and interviewed students who wanted to start their own Cash Club.
“Last year we just self-funded everything ourselves, but we were thinking as we expand across Dallas and try to open more branches we just thought going through the nonprofit route would just help continue our mission,” Rho said.
Cash Club now has 12 chapters in Dallas, one in New Jersey, and one in India. For information cashclubdallas.org.