Students and teachers at I.S. 49 celebrated their first successful business Wednesday.

The school honored JPMorgan Chase for funding their financial literacy program called, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.”

Students learned everything from investing to money management to spotting credit card fraud.

“We used a formula and we’d be able to tell whether it was fake or real,” said I.S. 49 student Shawn White. “So right when I went home I got my mother and father’s credit cards and I checked if they were fake.”

“They were able to select products, purchase the products, and then sell them at a higher price so that they could make some profit,” said Gloria Garcia, director of the Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge (SEEK) program at the College of Staten Island.

“This project presented financial literacy skills in a fun, hands-on, real-world learning environment,” said Erika Hellstrom, director of corporate relations at CSI, and co-creator of the project with Garcia. “We firmly believe that this type of academic intervention in the early years of school will help underserved students make great strides in achievement.”

Seth Edwards, vice president of community relations at JPMorgan Chase, recognized the value of this initiative and generously invested in the program, which in turn represents an investment in the participating students and ultimately, the community.

The student businesses donated their money to fund the painting of a culturally diverse mural near the school’s outside track. Garcia says she is hopeful that JPMorgan Chase will continue to fund the program again next year.

SEEK is a higher education opportunity program offered through The City University of New York. It is a program designed for students who have the potential to do well in college, but would benefit from enhanced academic support and financial assistance. The SEEK program at CSI provides access to college, and promotes academic success and personal achievement through an array of counseling and other support services. CSI’s SEEK program accepts between 150 and 200 new students each year.

The SEEK program staff is dedicated to helping students reach their highest level of success, both academically and professionally. Since 1976, CSI’s SEEK program has graduated thousands of goal-oriented and talented students. It is a program that is committed to each of its students, from the first day of college to the last – and beyond.