Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, the all-girls K-12 school in Princeton, is celebrating its 50th year of educating confident young woman leaders. The K-12 environment is an ideal place to empower young women with healthy habits and understanding of personal finance, economics, and business concepts. Stuart works to integrate mathematics concepts, problem solving, and other 21st-century skills with key, real-world, financial literacy tenets. From currency to microfinance, topics covered throughout all school divisions include earning money, budgeting and spending, banking, interest and savings, credit and debt, stocks, bonds and derivatives, ethical investment, and philanthropic values.

In addition to weaving financial literacy into the curriculum, the girls at Stuart have opportunities to develop business skills through clubs and speakers who come to campus.

The Upper School Business Club is just one example. Headed by future women leaders, juniors Julia Rourke and Anushka Makhija, the club is working to develop a product to sell in the Book Bag, Stuart’s spirit store. The girls in the club will create the product, market, sell, and track inventory.

Even the story of how the Business Club came to be is an exercise in women in leadership. Julia and Anushka were part of the Business Club their freshman year, and at the time the club was focused on inviting business leaders, particularly alumnae and parents, to Stuart to speak with students about their work. After the club president graduated, the club was inactive, and this year Julia and Anushka decided to resurrect the club with a new twist by proposing development of a product. They pitched the idea to the Upper School student body and signed up 10 other students to join them, bringing the Business Club back to life.

The club members voted to develop a pinny as their first product (second choice was a cheerleading bow). A pinny is a reversible scrimmage jersey worn during sports practices that could be used by lacrosse, field hockey, basketball, volleyball, etc. The girls in the club are identifying possible vendors and materials and are researching supply and demand for the product. Once the pinnies are stocked in the store, the young women of the Business Club will manage inventory and track sales. “Eventually we want to expand to additional products,” said Julia.

In addition to creating the product, Julia and Anushka want to make sure the club stays viable even when they leave, so they are creating a process guidebook. Anushka says, “It’s kind of like a how-to book for creating products in the club, detailing what we have done so far so the club can continue after we graduate.”

Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, 1200 Stuart Avenue, Princeton. 609-921-2330. www.stuartschool.org.

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