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Charger Asset Management Board and Foundation Board Thrive in Year Five

The Charger Asset Management Board presents to PD's Board of Trustees

Thanks to generous gifts granted in January of 2018, the Charger Asset Management Board (known as the Investment Board prior to 2020) allows PD student participants to learn about securities and global markets while investing real money. The Charger Asset Management Board invests funds in stocks, mutual funds, and individual development accounts to benefit the student-led Foundation Board, which receives the dividends earned on investments at the end of each fiscal year for allocation. Both groups recently presented their activities for the 2021-22 school year to members of Providence Day School’s Board of Trustees.

“Charger Asset Management is a phenomenal opportunity for students to take ownership for what can be done to improve their greater community while also getting exposure to the world of finance and investing,” says Upper School math teacher Danny Mehigan. He works alongside economics teacher Stephanie Vanderford ‘95 as an advisor to the Charger Asset Management Board. “It’s truly impressive the breadth and depth with which these students understand the investment world.”

Vanderford adds, “I am impressed by the thorough research the students put into their stock pitches and the thoughtful questions they ask their peers during pitches. The members of the board definitely gain an appreciation for how many factors need to be considered when making investment decisions!”

Students Kate Longo ‘23 and Jameson Lover ‘23  finished their two-year terms on the Charger Asset Management Board in the spring of 2022. Longo chose to join because she had little knowledge about investing and wanted to learn to invest smartly, finding the collaboration with her peers extremely educational. “I think the most rewarding part has been collaborating with members of different grades and researching, presenting, and investing in stocks that will bring in money for the school,” she says. “I have learned how to properly research and invest in different stocks throughout the market. I have also learned a lot about myself. During meetings, I have become more outspoken and take charge of situations as investing can be risky at times.”

“My passion for finance started during the lockdown summer when my dad and I had an investment competition to see who could receive a better return. I immediately went to get personal finance books, and I started investing,” explains Lover. “The most rewarding part of the board has been learning from everyone there, as well as passing on my knowledge. It has truly been one of the most enriching experiences I have had at PDS, and I am very grateful to have been a part of it.”


The Foundation Board presents to PD's Board of Trustees

Working in tandem with the Charger Asset Management Board is the Foundation Board, whose mission is “to provide funding to established, student-led social responsibility endeavors throughout our community.” The Providence Day Foundation Board consists of PD students who are mentored and guided by professionals about how charitable foundations are structured and operate. This year, the Foundation Board awarded grants to Bright Blessings, the Class of 2022 senior class gift, and the Devin Sawyer Fund.

Since its inception, the Foundation Board has been led by Dr. Jennifer Bratyanski who will transition this advisory role to Dr. James Edge in the fall of 2022. In the early years, the board spent time defining and refining its mission and later had the opportunity to begin granting funds. Nadia Wheeler ‘22 served for four years as a board member and initially joined to expand her skills and knowledge about philanthropy, but ultimately found the allocation of funds to be extremely rewarding. 

“The biggest thing I’ve learned is that it takes all different types of people to get things like this done,” says Wheeler. “The original members had great ideas, but current freshmen and sophomores genuinely blow me away with ideas for allocation and expanding the board. The diversity of the board, whether that’s by age or background, is what is able to make it so effective.” 

Anish Vendatham ‘25 is a first-year member of the Foundation Board who joined as an opportunity to give back to the wider school community and learn how the grant-giving process works. “The most rewarding part of the experience has been getting to know people from all grades,” he says. “As the only freshman on either of the boards, I had to get to know new people, which really helped me. I also got to learn about the back-end of the grant-giving process.” 

Gaining more than just financial knowledge, he adds, “I’ve learned a lot of general life lessons from the board. I’ve learned that things might not go your way and you need to be willing to adapt your rules to help ensure equity.”