Public High Schools Need Private Sector Leadership To Keep America Competitive, Say Business Leaders
29 May 2008
Citi Foundation, Pearson Foundation contribute $2.15 million to National Academy Foundation at NYSE event
New York, NY – May 29, 2008 – At a time when both business and students are looking at filling summer jobs, the National Academy Foundation (NAF) will issue a call to action aimed at getting corporate America involved in improving education and keeping American business competitive.
Sir Win Bischoff, Chairman of Citi, and Sanford I. Weill, Founder and Chairman of NAF, will issue the call to action at the summit, “Generation Now: Connecting Schools and Business to Keep America Competitive in the Global Economy,” held at the New York Stock Exchange. The event is being sponsored by the Citi Foundation.
The summit, held as a town meeting and moderated by Erin Burnett of CNBC’s “Street Signs” and “Squawk on the Street,” will include a panel discussion with key leaders, including:
Bill Barke, CEO, Pearson Arts & Sciences
Ursula Burns, President, Xerox Corporation
Jay Fishman, Chairman & CEO, Travelers
JD Hoye, President, National Academy Foundation
Sanford I. Weill, Chairman Emeritus, Citi
Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO, Partnership for New York City
Additionally, several dozen students from NAF Academies housed in NYC public schools will attend and participate in the discussion. After the summit, the students will take part in the opening bell ringing at the exchange. Several of the academy students will also “job shadow” traders on the floor. Students participating in the summit came from the following schools:
John Dewey High School; Brooklyn, NY
High School of Economics and Finance; New York, NY
Bronx School of Law and Finance; Bronx, NY
Academy of Finance and Enterprise; Long Island City, NY
Port Richmond High School, Staten Island, NY
Richmond Hill High School; Richmond Hill, NY
Fort Hamilton High School; Brooklyn, NY
Academy of Hospitality and Tourism; Brooklyn, NY
"These academies work and hopefully can be one of the ways to reform high school education," said NAF founder and Chairman Sanford I. Weill, Chairman Emeritus, Citi. "Education is really the key that can unlock the door to a person's financial future and is important to keep America competitive in today's constantly changing global world."
“We cannot afford to have students dropping out of school with few marketable skills, nor can we afford to have great jobs left vacant because the next generation of workers does not have the necessary skills to compete in our global economy,” said Sir Win Bischoff, Chairman of Citi, and host of the summit.
NAF will be presented with a $1 million check from the Pearson Foundation that signifies an important new collaboration between the two organizations focused on developing Academy teachers. Additionally, the Citi Foundation will acknowledge an award of $1.15 million to NAF.
“We thank Pearson and Citi for showing the corporate stewardship that will expose a generation of public high school students to new opportunities and meet the demand for professional services,” said NAF President JD Hoye.
Hoye is also calling for companies to engage in NAF’s “ High School Truth or Corporate Dare Challenge” to get employees to volunteer in the classroom. “Working with students helps develop leadership skills and lets employees look at their own careers and expertise with fresh eyes,” she said.
“The creation of effective career-themed education is crucial in today’s technologically advanced society,” said Mark Nieker, president, The Pearson Foundation. “Our collaboration with NAF will help teachers expand their expertise in the digital arts and other 21st century skills.”
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About the National Academy Foundation
The National Academy Foundation (NAF) encourages partnerships between business leaders and educators to help prepare students for professional careers. NAF was founded by Sanford I. Weill, Chairman Emeritus of Citi, who founded the National Academy Foundation more than twenty years ago. Currently, NAF serves more than 50,000 students enrolled in 500 Academies in 41 states and the District of Columbia. The Academies are established predominately in large urban high schools. They are structured as small learning communities within the larger school that prepare students for careers through focused curriculum and internships. The National Academy Foundation operates four Academies: the Academy of Finance, the Academy of Engineering, the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism, and the Academy of Information Technology. Employees of more than 2,500 corporations are involved with local Academies through securing internships, volunteering in classrooms, acting as mentors and serving on local Advisory Boards. The NAF curriculum contains essential content based on industry and educational expertise. NAF's record of success with 90% graduation rates and more than 80% of these graduates going on to college, has garnered the support of corporations, public policy makers and foundations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Citi’s major brand names include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney, Banamex, and Nikko. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com.
About the Pearson Foundation
The Pearson Foundation extends Pearson's (NYSE: PSO) commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe. The Foundation aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and in local communities. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at www.pearsonfoundation.org.
Senior Director of Communications
National Academy Foundation
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