Alexandra Hadley, a junior at Mount St. Mary Academy in Watchung, has a knack for numbers, so much so that this past summer she stayed on Rutgers University’s Busch campus in Piscataway for a month to participate with 34 other teens in a camp focused on math.
It was actually a few months earlier during her sophomore year of high school that Alexandra discovered her true career calling. “Math is my favorite subject, but career-wise I’m more interested in economics,” says Alexandra, 16.
More than Alex’s penchant for pre-calculus, AP statistics and graph theory has inspired her love for economics. Last spring, she and several classmates participated in the Euro Challenge, a national competition in Washington, D.C. for high school students to learn about the European Union and the Euro. Student teams are asked to make presentations answering specific questions about the European economy and the single currency, the Euro.
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 member states located mostly in Europe. They include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
“Six of us were on a team and put together a presentation. We went through three rounds and presented to other economists,” explains Alex. “We had to pick one of the EU nations and talk about its current economic status. We picked slow growth in Germany. We talked about how more women contributing to the economy would help stimulate economic growth, which is great because I go to an all-girls school.”
Alex’s team came in second, a big accomplishment considering they were competing against high school students from around the country. Alex says she gained more than a trophy that day. “A lot of us went in with no knowledge of economics and came out knowing so much,” she says. “To become an international economist would be my dream come true.”
Learn more about the Euro Challenge at http://www.euro-challenge.org/news/.