Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart Visits MLEC

By Alexandra Reboredo

There is always something going on at Miami Lakes Educational Center. Everyday, the halls of the school are traveled by ambitious students, a group of them being those in Dr. Raffington’s finance class, who were recently visited by Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart.

Those Entrepreneurship students participated in the “Capitol Hill Challenge: Stock Market” game, an online simulation of the global capital markets where our students engaged in investments, as well as personal finance. Each group was given a starting budget and the goal of making the most profit.

One of the participating groups presented their firsthand experience, as well as their final portfolio. Migdielis Diaz recounted her group’s experience of investing in company stocks like Apple, AT&T, and CVS, and how those affected their personal balance.

Although her group placed in the 1,000s out of over 3,000 participating groups, they were eager to have learned the ins-and-outs of the stock market through the stimulation.

Dr. Raffington’s students also organized all of the groups into a carnival-theme. Some groups took part as ticket booths, ferris wheels, carnival games, and advertising blimps to represent the function of each group and how they affected the stock market.

Schools participating in the game are matched with their district or state representative. MLEC’s students were matched with Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, representative of Florida’s 25th district. On May 9, he visited the school to speak to Dr. Raffington’s students on the economy and the stock market.

After their presentations, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart engaged in conversation with the students, asking them for questions. The questions ranged from his personal views on the national deficit, how to pay for college, and—most notably—how individuals can better the economy.

“Here’s the bad news: our economy has been growing at 2 percent every year. If we don’t change what we’re doing, the economy is barely going to grow,” says Diaz-Balart.

His suggestions for bettering the economy included lowering taxes, reducing regulations, reforming programs that are wasteful, and creating more jobs in the country.

Aside from his advisement, he left the students with an overwhelming thought: the future.

“I encourage you to be leaders,” he said, advising all students to get involved in something they care about, and not to feel discouraged. “If there aren’t other students standing up for that issue, then there is more room for your voice to be heard.”  

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