By Eddie Molina ’23
Chaminade High School has more than 50 co-curricular and extracurricular activities. Some clubs focus on academic subjects like English, math, science, language, and religion; others, meanwhile, cater to more niche areas that students are passionate about and that will impact their lives long after they graduate.
Among these many clubs is the Chaminade Business Club, an organization that hopes to teach students about personal financial literacy as well as the many financial perils that plague Americans, such as student loan debt, credit scores, and inflation.
The club helps students learn how to make wise decisions regarding finance and business. This allows students to set themselves up for success, which is one of the most important lessons for a high school student.
Student success is indeed the goal for the club’s teachers and moderators, Mr. Gabriel Ramos ‘04, Mrs. Tina Carlstrom, and Mr. Kevin St. Pierre ‘85, all of whom have years of experience in the world of finance and business.
Ramos stated, “Business Cub contributes to creating a college-ready workforce that is prepared to lead, collaborate, and innovate. Students in the club engage in relevant business discussion topics and acquire skills and knowledge that help strengthen their overall understanding of economy, personal finance, and entrepreneurship.”
Business Club is one of the newer organizations at Chaminade; it was formed in 2019 by seniors Mike Samaritano ‘20 and Bennett Newton ‘20. While the original intention was to base the club in the Bloomberg Financial Lab, the over-400 club members necessitated that they move to Hearst Auditorium in the Activity-Athletic Center (AAC).
Before serving as Business Club moderator, Ramos ran a similar organization at Chaminade known as the Distributive Education Chapters of America (DECA). DECA is an international student program that prepares high school students for possible careers in business, management, and finance. While DECA was very informative, Samaritano and Newton wanted a club whose topics of discussion would expand beyond DECA’s parameters. So, they proposed a club that would bring in guest speakers and offer new activities that would ultimately benefit students—and thus, the Chaminade Business Club was born.
With its current membership totaling over 500 students, the Business Club is one of the largest organizations at Chaminade. Every Wednesday, hundreds of students arrive at Hearst Auditorium after school. They are eager to dive into that week’s topic, whether it be the sell-side of Wall Street, the 2008 financial crisis, or the recent trend of cryptocurrencies.
In addition to weekly presentations and guest speakers, the club hosts the “Lane-Office Venture Challenge,” an entrepreneurship competition in which students are encouraged to form teams and design innovative products or services that benefit others.
“The Venture Challenge,” explained club president GianLuca Moscheni ‘22, “is an excellent opportunity for Chaminade students to experiment. The goal of an entrepreneur is to creatively solve a problem facing society, the economy, or even the average person through their ideas, and so it’s tremendous that we’re able to provide a competition which encourages our guys to be the change they want to see in the world.”
By reinforcing the concepts taught to students in their Bloomberg Financial Classes, as well as encouraging students to use their passions to enact change, the Chaminade Business Club provides members with the ability to enter college and the workforce and make an immediate impact.