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Starting a New Academy
   What is NAF?


Under the leadership of Sanford I. Weill, now Chairman and CEO of Citigroup, and the American Express Company, the first Academy of Finance opened in 1982 at John Dewey High School in Brooklyn, New York with 35 students.  In 1987, the model was expanded to offer an Academy of Travel & Tourism, and programs were established in Miami, Florida and Queens, New York.  In 1989, the National Academy Foundation was established as a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 intermediary organization to oversee the quality and expansion of Academy programs nationwide.  In 2000, NAF expanded the model into a new industry, launching the Academy of Information Technology.  

Who are NAF Academy students?

Over 32,000 students are enrolled in NAF academies, and over 25,000 students have graduated from NAF academies since 1984.  NAF Academies are appropriate for all high school students performing at grade level, but they are particularly targeted toward students who are not achieving their potential.  These are students for whom the program makes a significant difference.  With a new context for learning, NAF students often become more engaged in their studies, resulting in improved performance and higher expectations of what they can achieve for themselves.  

What is a NAF Academy?

Each NAF Academy operates as a “school within a school” in high schools across the country.  Students apply to participate in a cadre of 30 to 60 Academy students per school per year.  These students share two to three common Academy classes each semester.  The Academy can be a two, three, or four-year program to supplement and enrich the traditional curriculum.  NAF Academies are targeted to schools in the nation’s urban centers, but are appropriate for—and thrive in—urban, suburban, and rural areas where businesses exist alongside the schools.

How many NAF Academies are there?

How is NAF supported?

NAF operates through major support from its board member companies, including:  Citigroup, American Express, Merrill Lynch, The Nasdaq Stock Market, Sallie Mae, The McGraw-Hill Companies, and United Technologies.  Other national funders include: Compaq, Marriott International, Lucent Technologies, Computer Associates, Verizon, Oracle, and AT&T.  Thousands more large and small companies support local Academies by providing internships, service on advisory boards, teacher externships, curriculum guidance, and more.

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