GSSM Wins SC Finance Challenge

November 4, 2014

The South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) celebrates four students who won the SC Finance Challenge competition, sponsored by SC Economics.

Daniel Beasley, son of Wes and Julie Beasley of Florence; Joel Fonseca, son of Dr. Manuel and Lynn Fonseca of Florence; Gavin Roser, son of Vince and JoAnn Roser of Spartanburg; and Sydney Erin White, daughter of David R. and Carol M. White of Florence, all participated in the statewide, online competition that took place from October 6 through October 24, 2014.

Teams of three or four students competed by having each member take an online 30-question exam. Questions were in the following categories: income and money management, spending and credit, and saving and investing. Each student was given 35 minutes to take the exam and all team members were required to complete the exam within three hours.

"Winning this competition really showcases the superb, well-rounded education you get at GSSM,” said Fonseca. “I am personally very interested in the field of finance and am thankful that GSSM provides the resources for me to pursue that interest."

GSSM’s team outscored 233 other teams representing 20 high schools from 19 school districts. The GSSM team now has the opportunity to compete in the National Personal Finance Challenge competition on May 22, 2015, at the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City.

The team was sponsored by the BlueCross BlueShield Economics & Finance Institute, which was founded in 2010 to incorporate economics and entrepreneurship education with GSSM’s STEM-focused curriculum. The Institute features six-week summer internships in economics and entrepreneurship; school-wide team-building and design thinking workshops; advanced courses in entrepreneurship, accounting, finance and economics; and tech treks to Silicon Valley, New York and Boston, as well as across South Carolina.

Last summer, as part of GSSM's six-week Summer Program for Research Interns (SPRI) program and the Institute, Joel Fonseca assisted the Chief Financial Officer of SPARC, a high growth software company in Charleston, in strategic planning; Daniel Beasley worked for a SmartState endowed chair researcher at the University of South Carolina to assess the economy and branding of the Pee Dee region of SC; Gavin Roser worked for the leader of the aeronautics group at New Carolina, an economic think-tank, to assess SC's industry competitiveness; and Sydney Erin White worked for the CEO of SC Economics to evaluate online tools for teaching Economics in SC's K-12 schools.

"I am very proud of Sydney, Daniel, Joel & Gavin,” said Robert Fletcher, Founding Director of the BlueCross BlueShield Institute of Economics & Finance at GSSM. “They are contributors as well as competitors--already making a difference in South Carolina."

Pictured above: (from left to right) Gavin Roser, Daniel Beasley, Joel Fonseca, and Sydney Erin White.

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