Through a partnership with KIPP DC College Preparatory and the National Academy Foundation (NAF), the NAF Academy of Finance launched in August 2018 with a cohort of nearly 40 students. The NAF Academy of Finance is the first finance academy for students in the District of Columbia and prepares students for success in the financial industry through a combination of work-based learning opportunities and hands-on training from industry leaders.
“The work-based learning opportunities and hands-on training are aspects that make the NAF model really unique for our students,” said Minnie Das, director of the NAF Academy of Finance at KIPP DC College Preparatory. “They get to shadow industry professionals in the field and find out what it’s like to be a financial advisor for a day, for example. They get to see themselves in these roles and really envision what their future could be like.”
Latrell is a sophomore at KIPP DC College Preparatory and part of the inaugural NAF Academy of Finance class. As he envisions a future in Accounting, he says the ability to learn firsthand from professionals in the industry has been immense. “To be able to see what it takes, or hear from professionals in the industry has given me invaluable insight.”
From learning how to manage money, to understanding the stock market, and steps to starting a business, the concepts students are learning are preparing them to be both financially literate and confident. It’s also helping to diversify their potential career pathways as Nayquan; also part of the inaugural class, explains.
“I’m an athlete that also has dreams off the field of starting my own sports equipment business. Through our classes, workshops, and site visits the NAF Academy of Finance has helped establish a foundation that I can use to launch my dreams.”
After three years at the NAF Academy of Finance, students will earn a NAFTrack Certification upon graduation in one or more of their selected finance specializations. They also will have a wealth of experiences to draw from to help secure internships and careers in the future. “I’ve always had an interest in starting my own business and being an entrepreneur, and through what I’ve learned, I’m confident in my ability to succeed,” said Jamya about her experience in the program.
Regina, a sophomore at KIPP DC College Preparatory, added, “I feel confident in my ability to not only achieve my goal of starting my own daycare in the future, but also maximizing my impact through the skills and knowledge I’ve gained from the program.”