Summer Program Project

Problem Statement

Designing a Sustainable and Scalable Portfolio for Financial Wellness

The majority of Americans find themselves trapped in a cycle of paycheck-to-paycheck living which ultimately impacts the economy. According to a 2023 survey by, a staggering 78% of Americans face immediate financial crisis at the slightest disruption to their income (Forbes). This reality highlights the urgent need for innovative solutions that not only address the immediate challenges but also pave the way for long-term financial security and prosperity, and ideally to financial freedom for generations to come and economic growth

Your Challenge

This year’s Young Scholars will be challenged to utilize effective tools and techniques used in real-world scenarios to design a sustainable and scalable financial portfolio by working alongside distinguished Clarkson University professors from the Engineering, Business, Applied Math, and Education research areas. 

Your goal is to ignite a revolution in your financial mindset, gain knowledge on controlling your financial future with confidence and foresight, and proactively strategize your way to financial freedom. If you have the knowledge about the current economic situation, and about some basic concepts that can help you and others make more informed decisions, this could prevent financial catastrophes and crises, because these are typically caused by the collective decision-making of individuals. This can also cut down on fraud and scams, as they are usually only able to succeed because people aren’t aware of them. 

Throughout the week, you will use the power of critical thinking, unleash your creativity, and delve deep into research to propose actionable steps towards building a financial portfolio that not only benefits you but also contributes to the greater good. Imagine the impact your findings will have on you, our society and the economy by taking these proactive steps towards financial wellness.

From your research, you will:

  • Develop ways to earn money vs. how to spend money
  • Develop investment strategies: real estate, stocks, bonds, start-ups investment and others
  • Evaluate different type of incomes: Passive income/earned income
  • Learn ways to encourage entrepreneurship by buying a well-established business vs. starting from scratch
  • Investigate how to negotiate deals with win-win strategies
  • Learn ways to develop effective risk management strategies
  • Learn about technology, decision science, modeling and optimization tools
  • Overall, learn about basic concepts such as how to budget, save, invest, and manage debt so you can improve your ability to make responsible financial decisions. This can create better financial stability for individuals, which in turn contributes to the overall economic stability of the country.

Expected Outcomes

At the end of the week, Young Scholars students will present their proposals to guest panelists, family members and friends. Students who successfully complete the program and meet the admission requirements will receive a $4,000 scholarship ($1,000 per year) towards tuition if they attend The Clarkson School (early college program) or Clarkson University full time for their undergraduate education. Please note that $1,000 per year is the maximum scholarship amount a student can receive for attending Clarkson University summer programs, no matter how many programs he/she/they attend.

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