Caleb Olaez: online school and online money


Photo courtesy of Caleb Olaez

Senior Caleb Olaez checks the value of stock he is currently holding. After being introduced to the stock market, Olaez has put endless hours into researching and checking the market.

The horrors of online school are well documented, but the benefits are unbeknownst to most. After a problematic freshman year and a full sophomore year of online school due to Covid, current senior Caleb Olaez and his family decided it was in his best interest to continue online schooling through MCPS’ online academy during his junior year.

“My mom was scared that I would go back to causing trouble if I went back to school. I wanted to focus on myself, clear things up and get on the right track,” Olaez said.

The distractions of in-person school played a large role in the decision to attend the online academy, but there were other factors as well. Olaez began working at Harris Teeter as a bagger in October 2020, his sophomore year. After leaving Harris Teeter in February, Olaez tested the waters of multiple different jobs before landing with his current employer Tiger Sugar. While bouncing from job to job, he was working tirelessly at each one, frequently working 60+ hours in two-week periods.

“If I had in-person school I wouldn’t have as much time on my hands. The online academy let me build my schedule and made working how often I wanted much easier,” Olaez said.

While working seemingly every day along with keeping his GPA up, Olaez discovered new side hustles during junior year. During a September 2021 voice call with his cousin, who lives in the Philippines, he was introduced to cryptocurrency. Olaez was fascinated by the idea, but his cousin didn’t want to offer guidance as he was scared Olaez might lose money. This didn’t stop him from pursuing crypto on his own.

When Olaez wasn’t at work, his days were consumed by the computer, constantly studying the market and looking into new ways to make money. It wasn’t until a few months later that he was formally introduced to the stock market by fellow senior Jayden Munoz Whatts.

“I’d been introduced to the market by my brother and I saw the crazy drive that Caleb had. I wanted to share the success that I’d had so I put him on,” Whatts said.

Using money saved up from working, Olaez invested with guidance from Whatts along the way. After one month, his initial investments had turned into a whopping five thousand dollars. Seeing the quick success, Olaez put his elite work ethic towards studying the stock market. Attending classes and working during the day, Olaez spent many sleepless nights working on building his capital through the internet.

“At first I thought Caleb was just playing video games on his computer and I wanted to take it away. He showed me how much money he was making and I said I’d maybe give him a chance as long as school is his priority. You need to have a backup in case things don’t go to plan,” Catherine Olaez, Caleb’s mom, said.

Even with all of the time Olaez dedicated to school and his online “hustles,” he worked his way up to the managerial position at Tiger Sugar. He was even approached about potentially co-owning the business with his boss.

“Caleb runs the store on his own and he is doing a good job. He’s learning how to run his own store/business. Once you master that, you can own a business with ease,” Jennie Kwon, owner of Tiger Sugar, said.

Olaez is currently attending WJ in person with an abbreviated schedule, leaving after lunch every day. He is continuing to work at Tiger Sugar, weighing the offer from his boss, making money through the internet and planning to attend Montgomery College after senior year.