CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago high school and elementary school students on Wednesday showed off their numbers in the Stock Market Game, a statewide competition that teaches students to analyze companies, pick stocks and manage risk.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports, Chicago city Treasurer Stephanie Neely says it’s an invaluable program.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports

“You can never start too young to teach our children about the choices they can make about their money,” she said.

Junior Tionna Norris, a junior at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy, says the program is giving her a head start to owning her own business one day.

“It doesn’t take a lot to own stocks and bonds, but you definitely need to have that mindset,” she said, “because it will damage you if you don’t know what you’re doing.”

Students were given an imaginary pot of $100,000. Tionna’s group made an $18,000 dollar profit.

The Stock Market Game program began in the fall semester of 1988. Since then over 500,000 students have participated in the program within Illinois.