Local teen awarded for investment skills

Mike Linn

A teen with familiy in Portales recently won a national marketing contest by investing in some of the nation’s retail giants.
Whitney Sepeda, 15, of Effort, Penn., and two other classmates at the Monroe Career and Technical Institute turned $100,000 of funny money into $123,375 in 10 weeks to win the NASDAQ/DECA-sponsored Stock Market Game National Competition. The trio edged 329 teams from 13 northeastern states and Canada.
Whitney, a native of Carlsbad who is thinking about going into marketing as a career, is the daughter of Troy D. Schroeder and the granddaughter of Margaret Schroeder and the late Alvin Schroeder, all of the Portales area.
“It was pretty cool … I was surprised we won,” Whitney said. “It was interesting watching the stocks go up and down.”
Margaret and Troy, who is stationed overseas with the United States Air Force, could not be reached for comment.
Whitney said she didn’t do anything special when choosing her stocks, but simply thought of companies with long-standing records of prosperity. The team’s choices included Pepsi, Vorizon, Wal-Mart and Ralph Lauren among others.
“I don’t know that is was pure genius,” said Patricia LeCompte, the team’s marketing instructor. “What I taught them to do was go with their sense of what they thought was going to be the right thing for a consumer and that’s what they did.”
The students are trying to raise money to attend the DECA International Career Development Conference from April 30 – May 5 in Nashville, Tenn., to participate in an Investment Institute offered by the NASDAQ Stock Market Educational Foundation, the Securities Industry Association and the Securities Industry Foundation for Economic Education.
“I’m so proud of my daughter, and my head is like spinning right now,” said Sheryl Telesh, Whitney’s mother. “Everything is happening so fast.”