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. 

Chicago Students

Chicago Students

It Starts with Step #1

TD Ameritrade’s ThinkorSwim offices hosted students from Chicago’s Lincoln Park High School. The field trip, and the entire Rock The Street, Wall Street year long program, is a decisive route in getting more girls interested in finance. 
“If the girls know more about the programs that are available to them, if they know more about the challenges that do exist with regard to women and their finances as well as their lack of representation in leading roles in the profession, we, as volunteers, can help educate the students so that they begin to visualize controlling their financial lives as well as joining us in our careers. Step #1 is opening your eyes and being aware.” 
–Alisa Kolodizner, CFP, Guidance Sales Manager at TD Ameritrade and RTSWS lead volunteer
The Chicago students’ eyes opened wide during their on site industry trip where they met female role models at TD Ameritrade’s Think or Swim offices. For the past two months, girls participated in classroom workshops at their schools where they were given hands-on financial projects to work on collaboratively with their classmates. This was capped off with the field trip to meet women who work with numbers – something they don’t see in popular culture. 
If they can see it, they can be it. After tours of the trading rooms and offices, the students met and listened in on a lively panel discussion that included:
  • Stephanie Lewicky, Senior Manager of Futures & Forex at TD Ameritrade
  • Laura Van Peenan, Managing Director and Head of Chicago Coverage for William Blair
  • Melissa Binder, Vice President of Distribution for PPM America
  • Lorraine Gavican, Managing Director of Trader Operations, Supervision and Oversight at TD Ameritrade
A lively Q&A session ensued.

Step #2?

Make a connection 

The Gen Z students connected and shared some of the following thoughts with us…

“I was one of the people who would say ‘Why do I even need math in my life?’ and now I know that I will need it for sure.” 
–Amanda Kubanychbekoba, Lincoln Park High School
“Before I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to take a math class in college or university but now I know that I want to because I realize that it is important in real life. It is always something teachers say you need but this has shown me that I really will need it.” — Eleni Bethke, Lincoln Park High School
And our champion teachers, those school teachers who help us recruit our students had this to say…
To see the students’ enthusiasm after they were leaving the class that had been going on… how exciting! They said ‘what a great session!’ They feel confident and are very interested.” – Mary Enda Tookey, Lincoln Park High School

Throughout the semester, these RTSWS students have been eager to learn and engage with the financial professionals surrounding them in their classrooms and worked with them on their personal and professional goals.

RTSWS chooses to work with teenage girls who are beginning to define their future selves. We are influencing students at a crtical juncture in their lives – just before they choose their colleges and majors/minors.

We show young women that knowledge of finance is critical to their personal freedom. We offer, too, a view into the financial profession – an avocation where they can help change the trajectories of individuals, families, companies, municipalities, states and nations.
They can change the world. 
Thank you, TD Ameritrade.
Your inviting corporate culture, innovation and leadership is just what our high school girls need to see.
Educating Adventures

Educating Adventures

Look Out Cause Here They Come…

During the next three months, we will be taking our students to the financial frontlines as approximately 500 Rock The Street, Wall Street students take 17 field trips across 13 U.S. cities. Our first trip begins tomorrow in Chicago and will continue through December to financial institutions and financial departments from coast to coast. Girls will meet, many for the first time, REAL women in finance. Our field trips are packed with department tours, senior management panel discussions, small group huddles and Q & A sessions. 

Today’s students are visual learners and a field trip lets them touch, feel, and listen to what they’re learning about in the RTSWS workshop “hands-on” financial projects, build on classroom instruction, gain a better understanding of finance and expose them to worlds outside their own. It inspires students to obtain skills to bring them to the next level. 
Two of the goals of RTSWS is to catch girls BEFORE they get to college. We expose them to the M in STEM in high school so they can learn that a life of financial independence can be theirs AND there is a career in this field waiting for them. 
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for highlights and photos from our students’ trips into the real world of finance.
If they can see it, they can be it. 

Schedule of RTSWS Field Trips, Fall 2018 

TD Ameritrade, Chicago; Lincoln Park High School 
TD Ameritrade, Omaha; Burke High School 
HCA, Nashville; MLK Jr. High School
JP Morgan Chase, Nashville; Independence Academy High School
Fiduciary Trust, NYC, NY; Hunter College High School

TD Ameritrade, Fort Worth, TX; VR Eaton & Byron Nelson High Schools
Fidelity Investments, Merrimack, NH; Merrimack High School
TD Ameritrade, St. Louis, MO; Parkway Central High School
Nasdaq, NYC, NY; Hunter College Campus High School and Baruch College Campus High School
Jackson National Life, Nashville, TN; Centennial High School

LPL, Charlotte, NC; South Mecklenburg High School
Mediant Communications, Raleigh, NC; Panther Creek High School
CarVal Investors, Minneapolis, MN; Hopkins High School

SunTrust, Atlanta, GA; Maynard Holbrook Jackson High School
CalSTRS, Sacramento, CA; Rosemont & McClatchy High Schools 
Kayne Anderson, Los Angeles, CA; Harvard-Westlake School

This is what instilling financial confidence in the next generation of women looks like.

BFF – Best Financial Friends

BFF – Best Financial Friends

An Insider’s Look at an RTSWS Classroom Workshop
Forging Forever Finance Friends

The auditorium at Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet High School in Nashville, TN filled quickly as the high school girls entered in packs. A record 42 girls participated in financial modeling this semester. The girls knew there was work to be done—they were entering their FINAL Rock The Street, Wall Street (RTSWS) classroom workshop for 2018. On this day, our RTSWS volunteers – Jennifer Knight, Senior Investment Analyst at Hospital Corporation of America, Maggie Ehrenreich, Assistant V.P. Relationship Manager at Wells Fargo, and April Edman, Director of Financial Processes at Sarah Cannon Center, led the charge. 

“Their eagerness to learn is inspirational. All the students have became more vocal as they understand this is a safe place to talk about money,” said Jennifer Knight.

Kerissa Bryant, a senior who hopes to attend Stanford next year, sat near the front as Jennifer gave an overview of their task for the day—break into groups and prepare a budget for Janella, a fictional 27-year-old woman who has a job, bills to pay and savings goals to meet. The students immediately get to work calculating and allocating together and bouncing ideas off one another. This collaborative approach to math application and exposure to financial professionals has opened the girls’ minds to managing their own money and to financial sector careers.

“I now know I am capable of having a career in finance, whereas before it was never presented to me” said Kerissa Bryant. “It also enforced I could start my own company – a dream of mine. I thought it was this big dramatic thing, but this program cemented to me that business and finance are not as complicated as I thought.”

As a public academic magnet school within Metro Nashville Public Schools, students at MLK need to qualify with an academic average of 85 or above and Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) scores that are “proficient” or “advanced.” In short, these girls have worked hard to get where they are.

MLK students agree that following the stock market is a particularly compelling part of the curriculum. Students follow the price patterns of a number of stocks throughout the five week series of workshops. This is just a small example of how RTSWS ensures our curriculum is “up to minute” and relatable to our students. They discover, too, the various career opportunities available to them in financial services – careers they had no idea even existed prior to joining RTSWS.


Awareness Allies

Awareness of pay inequality is the first step, not only for professionals in the workplace now, but for the next generation. RTSWS equips high school students at a pivotal point in their lives. As they embark on their life paths they are fueled with the data they need to be advocates for change for themsleves, and at their future colleges and workplaces. It starts with awareness…it continues with action! Below is a recent ADP study on gender pay inequality.

Thanks For Rocking Our Vote!

Out of 500 submissions and more than 166,000 votes, RTSWS is a First Tennessee #25YearsofGiving Winner. The funds will go directly to empowering high school girls in Tennessee to “own” their financial lives.

An Open Letter to Our Volunteers

An Open Letter to Our Volunteers

Dear Rock The Street, Wall Street Volunteer,

Our school year is off and running! It’s full speed ahead as we get Rock The Street, Wall Street’s fifth year off to a record-breaking start with more than 450 students this semester, 120 volunteers, 13 cities, (7 new this year) and 18 schools, (9 new this year). We are truly coast to coast!

We could not reach the girls without YOUR involvement.

Thank you for:

  • Spreading the word that a life in finance can indeed be a prosocial, self-transcendent purpose-driven career.
  • Taking time out of your busy day to pay it forward to the next generation.
  • Showing girls how to “own” their financial lives now.
  • Teaching girls how to save and invest, not just budget.
  • Lifting the veil on finance, which, for the most part, is nothing more than first year algebra.
  • Changing the culture of the financial services industry by expanding the pipeline of future female candidates.
  • Modeling to the girls that it’s just as much about confidence as it is capability.
As you lead the financial “hands-on project” workshops, you will see high school girls respond to YOU. Watch THEIR confidence grow as they take you in as their financial and aspirational role model. This is critical as the research shows:
  • Neither mom nor dad are speaking to their daughters about financial management.
  • The number one reason girls state they are not choosing STEM professions – They don’t see women in those professions. The number two reason – They don’t see their girl friends choosing those professions.


Think about it… Imagine seeing 15 – 20 women in the M of STEM coming through the high school doors all at once. Talk about making an impression!

During our last five years, we’ve seen teenage girls begin to take ownership of their finances. YOU are the one who is changing the trajectory of these girls’ lives. As a role model and mentor, YOU “walk the talk” on all matters financial. YOU bring light where once there was darkness on these issues. Ask yourself… How many of YOUR girl friends are still in the dark on their financial matters?  YOU are changing this.

Maura Cunningham, Founder & Executive Director, RTSWS

Thank you to all the sponsoring firms and agencies listed below for their skill-based volunteers.