NAF Future Ready Labs provide internships to high school students
Edgewood High School’s Academy of Finance program was recently announced as one of only four teams selected nationwide by the National Academy Foundation (NAF) to participate in the launch of locally-sponsored NAF Future Ready Labs. The other three teams were selected from Cabarrus County, North Carolina; Detroit, Michigan; and Orange County, Florida.
NAF Future Ready Labs are a collaboration between NAF, business partners, and academy and district representatives to offer students an internship experience with an innovative and comprehensive structure. In a change from the traditional one-to-one internships, NAF Future Ready Labs offer a multi-week experience for 20-25 student interns to complete a project of value for the business sponsors in a collaborative team-based environment, participate in skillbuilding workshops, and connect with professionals who serve as mentors.
This program will provide high school students an opportunity to put their education into practice in a unique work environment while business professionals and community leaders play an active role in developing their future workforce by shaping talent in high school.
NAF advisory boards provide an essential bridge between schools and the workplace, and locally-sponsored NAF Future Ready Labs provide another opportunity for advisory board members to support high-quality paid internships for NAF students.
NAF will pilot its Future Ready Labs tools, resources, and supports with only the select groups of participants across the country. The four teams were hand-picked through a rigorous application process to identify strong goal-oriented school districts and advisory board teams to plan and implement meaningful internship programs for their communities’ high school students.
“We are extremely honored to be selected for this opportunity to showcase all of the talents that Edgewood High School’s Academy of Finance students have to offer,” said Academy of Finance Coordinator Austin Hill. “Thank you to Principal Kilo Mack, Superintendent Sean Bulson, Supervisor of Magnet and CTE Programs Robert Limpert, and our amazing advisory board for continuously supporting our amazing academy as we grow and ensure our students are career and college ready.”
In order to support the Future Ready Lab, Mr. Hill applied for a grant through Wells Fargo and was generously awarded $2,000 from the Abingdon Wells Fargo branch. The grant money will be used to purchase the latest in technology of Lenovo laptops, devices needed for the Future Ready Lab. Students working in the Future Ready Lab will provide digital social media marketing for small businesses, among other tasks and projects.
“Future Ready Labs give more students the opportunity to get out of the classroom and work on real-world projects with corporate partners. Book knowledge is important, but on-the-job experience is what helps set the Academy of Finance apart from all other programs,” Scott Elliot, Academy of Finance Board Chair.
Over the next few months, the Academy of Finance will be finalizing the planning and implementation phase of the Future Ready Lab and creating professional development training. Local businesses interested in volunteering or providing funding resources to help with the Future Ready Lab should contact Mr. Austin Hill at Edgewood High School (410-612-1500) or Mr. Robert Limpert in the HCPS Business, Technology and Magnet Programs Office (410-5885244).
About the Edgewood High School Academy of Finance:
Edgewood High School’s Academy of Finance program is a signature program of Harford County Public Schools and part of NAF. NAF is a national network of education, business, and community leaders who work together to ensure that high school students are college, career, and future ready.
The Academy earned Model Academy distinction for the 2017-2018 school year for high marks achieved on the annual Academy Assessment as evaluated by NAF. NAF leaders scored academies in five areas: academy development and structure, curriculum and instruction, advisory board involvement, work-based learning opportunities, and the academy’s demonstrations of model practices.
For more information about NAF, please visit www.naf.org.