The first ever Sanford I. Weill Academy of Excellence Award has been awarded to The Academy of Information Technology at Apex High School. The award recognizes the National Academy Foundation (NAF) academy exhibiting the highest standards for public-private partnerships for the benefit of students.
The Sanford I. Weill Academy of Excellence Award was established on the occasion of Mr. Weill’s 80th birthday. Mr. Weill, a distinguished banker and financier, founded NAF in 1982 and the organization has grown to over 500 academies in 39 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands.
The Apex High School AOIT, located in Apex, North Carolina, is a model academy for NAF and has developed a very strong network of corporate partnerships that are engaged in providing support for the school on a variety of levels. Their 27-member advisory board is comprised primarily of business representatives from companies such as Kelly IT, SAS, American Airlines, IBM, Qualcomm and Fidelity. There is an alumni representative on the board, as well as an internship committee that typically places 100 percent of eligible students in internships each year. Advisory board members serve as mentors at career development workshops, provide venues for job shadowing events, and help organize other work-based learning opportunities.
At Apex AOIT there are 90 students per class picked by lottery from a pool of approximately 250 applicants. They boast an exceptional 100% graduation rate of NAF students, and all graduating students go on to post-secondary education.
About the National Academy Foundation (NAF)
The National Academy Foundation (NAF) is an acclaimed network of career-themed academies that open doors for underserved high school students to viable careers. For more than 30 years, NAF has refined a proven model that provides young people access to industry-specific curricula, work-based learning experiences, and relationships with business professionals. NAF academies focus on one of five career themes: finance, hospitality & tourism, information technology, engineering, and health sciences. More than 4,600 business professionals volunteer in classrooms, act as mentors, engage NAF students in paid internships, and serve on local advisory boards. During the 2012-13 school year 62,000 students attended 546 NAF academies across 39 states, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 2012, NAF academies reported 97% of seniors graduated.