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Record-Breaking Number of High School Students Reached Through 2019 Programs

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TFAS High School Programs reached new heights this year, setting a record for the number of high school students reached through our Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE) summer programs.

I feel more confident approaching conflict and controversial topics by keeping an open mind. FTE has changed my outlook on my purpose in life and in my own community.” – Jackson, FTE student from Oklahoma

More than 650 high school students learned the “economic way of thinking” through our week-long Economics for Leaders and Economics History for Leaders programs. FTE programs teach high school students about the benefits of free markets and personal liberty, and show them how to apply economic reasoning to everyday issues.

FTE students taking lecture notes
Students take notes during a lesson on how profits attract resources, spur innovation and improve our lives.

Week-long residential programs were held on 14 campuses including: Yale, UC-Berkeley, Cornell, Rice, UCLA, Emory and Brown.

Students traveled near and far to attend the programs, including Belle who came from Bangkok, Thailand, to attend the program at Wake Forest University. “Coming to the amazing and interactive Economics for Leaders camp was worth the 8,800 miles traveled,” she said.

High school student Jackson from Oklahoma said the FTE Economics for Leaders program changed his outlook on life.

“By encouraging me to look inside my own character and define my personal core values, FTE promoted self improvement on an unprecedented level. Furthermore, the openness of the program prompted me to speak my ideas and question the world around me,” he said. “I feel more confident approaching conflict and controversial topics by keeping an open mind. FTE has changed my outlook on my purpose in life and in my own community.”

Teachers during seminar
Teachers negotiate an exchange of Dum Dums lollipops during a hands-on lesson that they can employ in their classrooms to demonstrate the benefits of free trade and the effects of tariffs. 

In addition to high school student attendees, 495 high school teachers participated in FTE programs this year where they sharpened their teaching skills, acquired new lesson plans and learned how to present economic concepts to students in exciting and relatable ways. FTE-trained teachers reach an estimated 200,000 students per year.

“I am going home with a ton of new things in my ‘bag of tricks’ to help my students better understand economics and more difficult concepts,” said teacher attendee Alice. “Great investment of my time!”

Student program enrollment this summer was a 28% increase over the year prior, providing hope that our programs will continue to expand and reach more of our future leaders and citizens with these essential concepts.  To learn more, visit FTE.org.

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