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Huntington Beach Public Library jumps on youth investing train

Phoenix Noguchi is presented a grant by Youth Investors Corp. founder Dylan Jin-Ngo and regional director Ella Thimons.
Phoenix Noguchi, left, is presented a grant by Youth Investors Corp. founder Dylan Jin-Ngo and regional director Ella Thimons at the Huntington Beach Public Library on Wednesday.
(Sarahi Apaez)

The Youth Investors Corp. nonprofit has grown rapidly since Huntington Beach native Dylan Jin-Ngo founded it three years ago.

More than 650 Southern California children have now participated in the free, five-week educational course that stresses financial literacy.

The final week of the fourth and largest session concluded Wednesday — and one local participant walked away a bit richer.

Phoenix Noguchi of Huntington Beach, 12, was surprised at the Huntington Beach Central Library as one of three $500 grant recipients for this year’s summer program.

The program, which includes a simulation stock market aspect, expanded to Santa Barbara County this summer. The partnership with the Huntington Beach Public Library was also the first time the program was publicly accessible.

Phoenix Noguchi receives a certificate of commendation from Mayor Barbara Delgleize and Councilwoman Natalie Moser.
(Sarahi Apaez)

“We’ve had teens in our teen advisory program asking about financial literacy programs for a while,” said Christany Edwards, teen services librarian. “So I was doing some research and discovered this was an option ... We are committed as a library to those principles of breaking down barriers of access.”

The kids met twice a week at the library. Classes were led by Ella Thimons, Youth Investors Corp. regional program director for Orange County.

Huntington Beach City Council members Natalie Moser and Rhonda Bolton attended Wednesday’s ceremony, with Moser presenting Phoenix a certificate of commendation from Mayor Barbara Delgleize. Kim VanderMeulen, representing Rep. Michelle Steel, also presented Jin-Ngo with a certificate of recognition for his dedication to financial literacy education.

Dylan Jin-Ngo, right, is presented with a certificate of recognition for his dedication to financial literacy education.
Dylan Jin-Ngo, right, is presented with a certificate of recognition for his dedication to financial literacy education from the office of U.S. Rep. Michelle Park Steel by Kim VanderMeulen, left, at the Huntington Beach Public Library on Wednesday.
(Sarahi Apaez)

In addition, Jin-Ngo, now 18, said he was invited by California State Controller Betty Yee to be a keynote speaker at a statewide webinar on financial fitness on Aug. 30.

“It highlights a huge step in our mission of ultimately working side by side the public sector to truly maximize our impact,” he said.

Phoenix, headed into the seventh grade at Mesa View Middle School, said she enjoyed the program.

“I was already trying to invest my money into stocks, but I didn’t know how to professionally do it,” she said. “I needed some help.”

One of her most successful and interesting stocks in the simulation was Google, whose parent company, Alphabet, carried out a 20-to-one stock split on July 15.

“She clearly has a thorough understanding of the stock and bond market, and personal finance,” Thimons said. “She finished the stock competition in 18th place, but that does not accurately reflect her performance throughout the summer. She was a leader here at the library.

“I look forward to one day hiring [Phoenix] to work at my hedge fund. Or, more realistically, [Phoenix] hiring me to work at her hedge fund.”

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