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Local girl state’s best in national essay contest


Amisha Paul is known as a dedicated worker and a self-motivated seventh-grader, Elizabeth Sterner said. So it didn’t surprise her when Amisha placed first in the state in the national InvestWrite essay competition.

“I’ve been submitting essays to the organization since sixth grade,” Amisha said. “So I thought ‘Why not?’ and did it again, and I was very surprised I won.”

Amisha found out about the InvestWrite contest through her participation in the Stock Market Club at Kennedy Middle School. Sterner, the club’s adviser, advised Amisha and nine other students to participate.

Stock Market Club members meet every two weeks. They visit a website to participate in a virtual stock market game, in which students work in teams to decide the best stocks to buy or sell, Sterner said.

“She is probably one of the more motivated students, who does a lot of research and is also looking for ways to learn,” Sterner said.

Amisha’s winning essay, “Rebirth of a Tree,” focused on Hewlett-Packard’s stock. An essay prompt was given to the students, asking them what the most difficult or debatable stock sale or purchase the team had to agree upon. She chose Hewlett-Packard.

Amisha said that when a company gets a new director, the trend is for the stock to go down. Her team debated whether they should buy stock in Hewlett-Packard, and in the end decided against it.

“We all had mixed feelings, everyone had different opinions,” Amisha said. “I saw they were going to introduce a new CEO of the company and I got interested in the stock and if it was going to go down.”

But instead, the move boosted H-P’s stock price, and that’s what interested her most.

“I did a lot of research for this, mostly using Google Finance, Yahoo Finance and the Hewlett-Packard website,” Amisha said. “I did at least three or four drafts of it.”

Amisha said she spent much of April on the essay before turning it in to Sterner. She found out in May that she was the state winner.

Liz Pierce, public affairs manager at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, said the competition is set up through the association and aims to help students become financially literate. The stock market game is also the association’s program. Amisha was one of 20,000 students who take part in the competition each year.

Amisha was presented with a trophy and a $100 American Express gift card during a ceremony last month in Hartford.

“I still haven’t spent it yet,” she said.

Kennedy Principal Steven Madancy attended the event with Amisha.

“To see the caliber of students there and her being selected speaks for her performances,” Madancy said.

The 12-year-old is interested in medical sciences and is considering a medical career. The Stock Market Club and computer sciences are more like hobbies, she said.

“She is a humble student and just continues to take in learning and devour it,” Madancy said.



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