Sacramento Students

Sacramento Students

McClatchy and Rosemont High Schools

Students from McClatchy and Rosemont High Schools went on their semester end RTSWS field trip to the California State Teachers’ Retirement System(CalSTRS) offices in Sacramento, CA. They were welcomed by financial professionals from CalSTRS and California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS).  CalSTRS manages a $190 billion portfolio of investments; CalPERS manages $360 billion.

The field trip represents the second of three components of the RTSWS academic year-long program. Those components are:

  1. Series of five hands-on financial projects in their classrooms led by female financial professionals in the fall 
  2. Wall Street Experience Field Trip at the end of the fall semester
  3. Mentor/Protege program held during the spring semester 


Asset Classes

The girls visited and heard from female financial professionals in the following CalSTRS asset classes:
  • Global Equity
  • Fixed Income Investment Operations 
  • Alternatives (Private Equity, Real Estate, Inflation Sensitive)
  • Risk Mitigating Strategies and Innovation and Risk
The girls learned how CalSTRS provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits for California’s prekindergarten through community college educators and their families. And they learned how CalPERS manages pension and health benefits for California public employees, retirees, and their families. They also learned about the type of investments that are managed in each asset class and what skills are needed to work there. The pros discussed with the students what was impacting recent market action — Fed policy, interest rate forecasts and trade tariffs. 

Local NBC Affiliate TV Station

Leticia Ordaz, Anchor/Reporter from station KCRA joined us for the day at CalSTRS. They wanted to learn more about how RTSWS and CalSTRS/CalPERS are increasing the number of fearless girls. Click on the image below to see the segment.

 Joint Panel Discussion with CalSTRS and CalPERS

After their tour to the various asset class departments, five women shared where they came from and how they got to CalSTRS and CalPERS. These included:
  • June Kim, Investment Director, CalPERS
  • Katie Carl, Investment Officer, CalPERS
  • Adriana Gutierrez, Investment Officer, CalSTRS
  • Harmony Lu, Investment Officer, CalSTRS 
And, Brenda Dulger-Sheikin, Senior Vice President, State Street was invited to join the panel. State Street commissioned the Fearless Girl statue who recently found a new home opposite the New York Stock Exchange in NYC. (Click on video below.) 


Volunteer Comments

“This is something I feel very strongly about–increasing the gender diversity in the investment industry and we need to start early so RTSWS is a great program…  Slowly but surely we are trying to move the dial in this industry and hopefully affect that change. It is exciting to see the amount of interest with the volunteers that we have and then as more people find out about it, more people are interested.
  – June Kim, Investment Director, CalSTRS
“At the end of the semester I saw the girls come together and share a presentation so they learned how to be leaders, they each learned how to be financial planners and think on their own and give advice and consultation to their client, Janella… 
It was a great opportunity for me and my colleagues at CalPERS to partner with CalSTRS. We are sister retirement systems so it was a great opportunity for me to get to know some of my CalSTRS peers better. We often work together on other things.  This gives us a more personal relationship where we have a commonality or a bond to be able to work together for a better future.”
– Kami Niebank, Deputy Chief Compliance Officer, CalPERS

Student Comments

“I take math more seriously. If finance is a career I want to go into, it shows that math is an every day, all day thing that we will come across.” 

– Darla Gomez, 17 year old, Rosemont High School

School Administrator Comments

Our women are the future. We hear it. We see it now from Michelle Obama and the work that she has done, from Oprah and the things she’s doing. From amazing teachers and the people at CalSTRS who are doing great work—to be able to get our young ladies into a place where they can learn about finance, learn about investment, understand STEM is huge because there are so many opportunities out there for our young ladies to be in a role that they just don’t know about, so sometimes we miss out on the opportunity…

The vocabulary is huge, being able to talk through things. The other swing is that women do do these jobs. Coming into this space and being able to see women leading is huge and sometimes we don’t understand the importance of being able to put people in front of the students and show them this is something you can do. We are not just telling you that you can do it, we are showing the girls that they can do this job.” 

-Marcus Strother, Director of Youth Development, Sacramento City Unified School District

Thank you, CalSTRS and CalPERS.

You’re what making a difference looks like.

RTSWS is moving girls forward in the field of finance in 13 U.S. cities–more than 1,700 students and counting. 

Merrimack, NH Students

Merrimack, NH Students

Students Learn About Asset Management


Before taking a tour of the Institutional Bond and Money Market trading floor at Fidelity Investments in Merrimack, Tressa Webb, Vice President Fidelity Investments, gave our students a little insight into what each department manages and how she likes learning new things everyday at her job. Click on the video above.

Merrimack High School visits Fidelity Investments



Students from Merrimack High School, located in New Hampshire, visited one of the thirteen U.S Fidelity Investments regional offices. There are over 5,000 employees at this office. Last year, our Dallas RTSWS students got to visit the Westlake, TX Fidelity campus.  

The students were warmly welcomed by Fidelity Investments executives. They started the day hearing about Fidelity Investment’s internal initiatives to get more women into financial fields and then were whisked off to division tours and department huddles. 

Office tours included visits to the:

  • Bond and Money Market Trading Floor 
  • Work Solutions Site


The students then participated in a panel discussion about the various U.S. locations and divisions of Fidelity Investments, job opportunities, day in the life stories, college majors/minors and career paths. 

Panelists included (l to r)

  • Maura K. Cunningham, Founder of RTSWS (Moderator)
  • Catriona Martin, Portfolio Manager, Fidelity Investments
  • Lisa Magnuson, Manager, Diversity & Inclusion Programs, Fidelity Investments
  • Kathleen McQuiggan, Wealth Advisor, Artemis Financial Advisors & CFP Board Special Advisor

3 Components to RTSWS Academic Year-Long Program 

RTSWS students learn finance for a full academic year 
  1. Fall- Five classroom hands-on workshops led by female financial professionals
  2. Fall – Wall Street Experience Field Trip at the end of the fall semester 
  3. Spring – Mentor/Protege program held during the spring semester, January through April 

Special Advisor on Gender Diversity for the CFP Board, Kathleen McQuiggan, came up from Boston to share her career insights with our students


Shout out to the CFP Board in getting the word out about the volunteer opportunities that are available with RTSWS. RTSWS has been partnering with the CFP Board since 2016. We’re both committed to getting more women into the financial services industry.

We are grateful to the CFP Board for promoting the skills based volunteer opportunities that RTSWS has across the thirteen U.S. cities we serve.

Let us know if you have any interest in volunteering as a mentor or instructor to the next generation of financiers by clicking here.

Student Comments

“I enrolled in Rock the Street, Wall Street because my friend talked to me about it in class one day, and I was really inspired by the opportunity to see women in finance and business, and the mentorship opportunities, and to be able to look up to these women in high level roles. It’s a good opportunity for me to learn more about this field, and see if that’s something that I want to go in to… 

In a lot of ways, especially with stuff that we’ve learned in the program, women are less involved in the STEM fields and things relating to finance, so any way that we can kind of get ahead and educate ourselves to handle our money the best way possible, I think is so important. And to fight any kind of stigma or boundaries that come with being women, I think we should be able to handle ourselves and be able to take care of money in our own way.”                    – Cassie Child, Merrimack HS

Thanks Fidelity Investments!

You can’t see them, but our students are totally doing a happy dance.
New York City Students

New York City Students


“In the after school sessions (held on campus), the students were absolutely enraptured by the mentors who came and spoke with them each week. I found it both engaging and fascinating in listening to the students talk amongst themselves. The fact that they were talking about finance was spectacular!

As we rode the subway down today to visit our field trip location to Nasdaq, the students were saying this is the first time they could really talk about money and financial planning. It was too hard and embarrassing to talk about with their parents, so this is the first time they had the opportunity. It was an amazing moment.

Budgeting and finance discussions, and really taking ownership of personal finance, isn’t something that is included in the standard high school curriculum and to do so in the company of other young women with female mentors, it’s an extraordinary opportunity. It will serve them all their lives.”

– Lisa Siegmann, Acting Director, Hunter College Campus Schools, NY


We needed two field trip sites!

So many students from Hunter College High School enrolled in RTSWS this year, that we had to split the class in half to accommodate all 57 students at two field trip locations! 


First up, Nasdaq. One set of students went on their semester end RTSWS  field trip to the Nasdaq offices on Lower Broadway to get a glimpse of real-time market action. There, they had the opportunity to meet with women from various firms to hear about investing in the stock market as well as the varied job opportunities across the financial services spectrum. 

The women who made a difference in these girls’ lives on this day included:

  • Alice Wang, Managing Director, Global Head of CIB Operational Risk, JPMorgan 
  • Jill Malandrino, Global Markets Reporter, Nasdaq
  • Farah Sodhi, AVP, Business Unit CFO, Nasdaq
  • Yulia Oleynik, CTP, Treasury Specialist, Nasdaq
  • Yordanka llieva, Senior Strategic Investment Associate, Nasdaq Ventures
  • Angela Matheny, Head of Diverse Manager Equity, Colonial Consulting


Further uptown, our second set of students were hosted by Fiduciary Trust International at their Park Avenue offices. Here, the girls heard about the benefits of being a financially independent woman, capital raising, portfolio management, business management and how to navigate internship opportunities.

Our career sherpas at this field trip site included:

  • Kristin Mott, Managing Director, Seamax Capital Management
  • May Tong, Portfolio Manager, Franklin Templeton Investments
  • Mandy McClung, Vice President, Associate Complex Manager, Morgan Stanley  
  • Charlotte Beyer, Founder, Institute for Private Investors
  • Stephanie Weiss, Client Advisor, Bernstein Global Wealth Management
  • Charmaine Chin, Managing Director, K2 Advisors, Franklin Templeton Investments
  • Amanda Vardi, Vice President, Relationship Manager at Fiduciary Trust Company International 
  • Meredith Johnson, Estate Settlement Associate, Franklin Trust Company

Principal Quest Foundation (PQF) 

Some of the most often questions PQF hears from its members and guests are the following:  
  • Do I dare? 
  • Where does money figure in my values? 
  • How closely aligned are my values to my behavior? 
Led by Charlotte Beyer, (above), PQF attempts to address these deep-seated inquiries. PQF supports innovative education and creative mentoring programs for girls and women. Rock The Street, Wall Street is fortunate to be sponsored by PQF this academic year at Hunter College High School. We are honored to have been chosen by them to lead the way to girls’ better understanding of how finance fits into a lifetime of freedom.

Thanks Principle Quest Foundation!

Our students have started an unofficial PQF fan club.

Thanks, too, to the CFP Board, Abacus Planning Group, Douglass Winthrop Advisors, Wealthstream Advisors, Morgan Stanley and March Altus Capital Management whose female financial professionals gave so generously of their time and talent this past semester in the Hunter College High School classrooms to teach our students the importance of owning their financial lives!

We couldn’t do it without you. 

Nashville Students

Nashville Students





Independence Academy Students 

Earlier this month, students from Independence Academy, a Nashville charter school, went on their semester end RTSWS Wall Street Experience field trip to the JPMorgan Chase offices. The field trip represents the second of three components of the RTSWS academic year long program. Those components are:

  1. Series of five hands-on financial projects in their classrooms led by female financial professionals in the fall 
  2. Wall Street Experience Field Trip at the end of the fall semester
  3. Mentor/Protege program held during the spring semester, January through April 
The students were warmly welcomed by JPMorgan & Chase Co. executives, some of whom also volunteered in the classroom this past semester. Colleagues from the JPMorgan Chase & Co. New York City and Atlanta offices were also on hand this day to share with our students what a day in the life a financial professional looks like. 

Before the panel discussion, John Morris, Executive Director, Private Banker and Jeff Goodwin, Managing Director, shared with the students their vision of increasing the number of financially astute young women and bringing them into into the financial services industry.

The students then participated in a panel discussion about the various divisions of JPMorgan Chase, job opportunities, college majors/minors and career paths. On the way over to the office on the school bus, the girls discussed what questions they wanted answered and there were quite a number of good ones asked.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Volunteers

The women who shed light on their college and career paths as well as their workday lives included:
  • Lisa Navaro, Vice President, Chase Commerce Solutions, Nashville 
  • Elizabeth MacGaw, Managing Director, Alternative Investments at JPMorgan Private Bank, NYC
  • Laurie Atkins, Vice President, JPMorgan Private Bank, Nashville
  • Elizabeth York, Executive Director, JPMorgan Private Bank, Atlanta 
  • Lauren Carnicelli, Treasury Management Officer, Vice President, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Nashville 



Tennessee Charter School Center

Bill DeLoache, Board Chair of the Tennessee Charter School Center, joined us on this field trip as he and John Eason were instrumental in connecting RTSWS with Independence Academy. Bill and John have been at the forefront of the charter school movement in the state of Tennessee, helping to write the legislation that brought charter schools to the state. 
Independence Academy, led by Mia Howard, the Founder and CEO of Intrepid College Prep Schools, is ranked first among open enrollment high schools in Math and ELA based on 2018 Tennessee Ready performance.
We are thrilled to be associated with these achieving students. 

What Independence Academy teacher has to say about the RTSWS program

“… It’s also been really cool, we were preparing for the field trip, and we were just asking some questions. I said “OK, so we’re going to have this panel, and what questions are you going to be able to ask?” And I wanted just five questions from them, and we generated a list of fifteen, because they are so curious and excited to hear from women – from the volunteers they’ve been working with and from the women working here, that they just had such a long list of very thoughtful, tough questions. 


I think that it is going to give them a window into what their careers could look like and what their possibilities are. I think for our students it can be really hard to be what they can’t see. A lot of them don’t have women in their families that are working in business or working in professional fields. So when they get to college, when they finish high school, they will be able to look back on this experience and know what their possibilities are, and be able to explore them.” 

– Renee Frederick, Business Fundamentals Teacher

Student from Independence Academy

“Rock the Street, Wall Street helped me to be more responsible with my own finances by creating a budget for Janelle’s finances. I saw how my life and her life were really similar because the needs and wants were kind of the same.


Rock the Street, Wall Street has helped me grow in my understanding of why I need to study math. It taught me how to calculate all of the budget, including the percentages of what’s needed for my needs and what’s needed for my wants are actually really different.”

-Alexus Millken, Sophomore

Thanks, JPM!

Thanks for opening your doors to the Nashville community of high school students. In order to be a financier, our girls need to practice being a financier. 

In other news…

RTSWS Founder and Executive Director, Maura Cunningham accompanied Maria Fiorini Ramerez, President and CEO of MFR, Inc. and a founding member of 100 Women In Finance to their NYC annual gala. While there, they bumped into Charlotte Beyer, currently a 100WIF board member whose foundation, Principle Quest, sponsored the RTSWS program at Hunter College High School in NYC. We had a record inaugural sized class at Hunter College High School with more than 57 students enrolled this fall and 43 already signed up for the spring mentor/protege sessions to be held January through April, 2019.
You two are kind of a big deal! Don’t believe us? Ask our students.

RTSWS is currently in thirteen cities, coast to coast.

For a full list, click here.

Move over Gates and Buffett, there’s new philanthropists in town.

Omaha Students

Omaha Students

Omaha Students 

CEO of TD Ameritrade 

and Judy Ricketts

Last month, students from Burke High School in Omaha,NE capped off this semesters’ RTSWS program with a field trip to the TD Ameritrade corporate headquarters. After six weeks of financial hands-on projects in their classrooms, led by female financial professionals, they were warmly welcomed on this day by Judy Rickets, Managing Director of Investor Relations and RTSWS Board member. She shared her college and career paths with the girls and answered their many questions about a life in finance.

Next, the students toured many of the various headquarter’s departments where they heard descriptions about each division and then were given time to ask questions to get more granular about distinct job positions.

Tim Hockey, CEO of TD Ameritrade

Tim joined the panel discussion and shared his thoughts with students on pursuing a career in finance. He also took questions from the students on how to listen, lead and manage from the top.

What Burke High School teachers have to say about the RTSWS program

“In any opportunity where you’re going to experience leadership, finance is going to be a part. We looked at RTSWS as an opportunity for our students to get the practical real-world experience that they need and to be given a connection that other students, quite honestly, don’t get… to be a part of a program like this so that they can succeed in the future.” 

— Andrew Brooks, Director of Focus Program at Burke High School

“I see my students ready to work here. I’m seeing them ready to take on some new learning that might seem intimidating, that might seem a little scary at first but also that they are willing to learn because a lot of the values they have align with this particular company. They like the information that is coming at them, they like to be challenged, they like to be put in leadership roles.”
— Randall Howard, Focus Teacher at Burke High School 

Student from Burke HS

“I didn’t realize how many different things there are in finance, like retirement plans, 401k’s and trading…
When I first got a job, I kind of just blew my money and now after participating in the Rock The Street, Wall Street program, I’m putting money aside to save and make a ‘no touch’ account, so it’s really beneficial to me.”
–Grace Steiner, a Junior at Burke High School

Thanks TDA! 

Your inviting corporate culture, innovation and leadership is just what our high school girls need to see and experience.