On Tuesday, celebrated the long-awaited and highly anticipated opening of its brand-new, state-of-the-art trading floor.
The school’s mission is to introduce children in underserved communities to careers on Wall Street. Students take classes in accounting, finance and global economics, visit Wall Street, and on Career Days, “dress for success.” BAGF also is one of the few public schools in the entire city to offer foreign language instruction in Mandarin Chinese.
“The Academy of Global Finance is a school near and dear to my heart,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who helped launch the Bed-Stuy high school three years ago. “The world is getting smaller. All of our local economies are intermingled. That, more than anything else, is why a school like this is important.”
Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony was a groundbreaking moment for the faculty and students at BAGF, as the high school is now the first and only one in Brooklyn to offer students real-time information on and interactive streaming of stocks, commodities and futures trading.
“We’re really excited about this opening, which has been a long time coming,” said BAGF Principal Kavita Gupta, of the trading floor, which was paid for through a $500,000 grant and took one and half years to build. “This will allow us to really actualize our mission and vision around the foundations of finance and help our students develop careers in business.”
The room hummed with excitement as large interactive panels flashed market updates on Nasdaq, stocks, metals and energy commodities. Dozens of students, faculty and network leaders experimented with the pod stations, traded glances at the streaming ticker and marveled at the new Wall Street in Bed-Stuy.
“I’m excited to be in this school, because it’s giving me an opportunity to become someone successful,” said BAGF student Hakeem Abraham, 16. “I’m learning finance and accounting, and it’s been, I don’t know… really cool.”
Markowitz gave the students in the room a fiery speech about capitalism, making “real money,” and the importance of achieving success.
“Be prepared for getting very little help on the way up,” said Markowitz to the students, and then he tapped his shoulders. “Because it’s all going to be right here… on your shoulders.
“As long as you get it, you’ll be great successes. Understanding this is important, and I’ll tell you why: New York can’t reach its full potential unless you reach your full potential. We’re in this together.”