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New York Life Foundation Grants $250,000 to the National Academy Foundation

Two-Year Grant Supports Academies of Finance within Public High Schools

New Grant Adds to the $550,000 in Support Given Since 2008

NEW YORK, N.Y., September 14, 2012 – The National Academy Foundation (NAF) announced today that it has received a two-year, $250,000 grant from the New York Life Foundation to support strategic growth and an increase in the number of students in up to 14 new NAF Academies of Finance (AOF), or “schools within schools,” in public high schools in Alabama, Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Nevada and Oklahoma. The grant will also help NAF build best practices in the existing 208 Academies.

AOF connects high school students considered to be at very high risk of academic failure with the world of financial services by offering a curriculum that covers banking and credit, financial planning, international finance, securities, insurance, accounting, and economics, coupled with work-based learning experiences.

“The funding from the New York Life Foundation will enable our organization to prepare more students to handle the demands of higher education and employment as we enhance our drive for program excellence,” said JD Hoye, president of the National Academy Foundation.

“The New York Life Foundation has been supporting NAF’s Academies of Finance since 2008 and we are pleased to continue this partnership by supporting their plans to build best practices throughout the system and introduce up to 3,000 underserved youth to the world of financial services,” said Chris Park, president of the New York Life Foundation.

The new AOFs are located in: Birmingham, Alabama; Pasadena and Sacramento, California; New Haven, Connecticut; Louisville, Kentucky (two); Laurel, Oxon Hill and Riverdale, Maryland; Barker, Clarence and Rochester, New York; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Founded in 1982, the AOF continues to have the highest enrollment of any NAF program, with more than 20,000 students involved nationwide. AOFs are now found in 119 school districts in 32 states and they require students to take academically challenging courses in business, social studies, math, and language arts. The students also participate in internships in the financial services industry, which give them an opportunity to see their classroom lessons applied in the workplace. Students find success in this program, with 97 percent of NAF seniors having graduated from high school in 2011; 81 percent attending college or other post-secondary degree work, and; 52 percent earning bachelor’s degrees in four years (the national average is 32 percent). Eighty-five percent of five- and ten-year alumni are currently working in a professional field.

About the National Academy Foundation
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 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. NAF was founded by Sanford I. Weill, Chairman Emeritus of Citigroup Inc., as a partnership between business leaders and educators. Employees of more than 2,500 businesses support NAF students by securing paid internships, volunteering in classrooms, acting as mentors, and serving on local Advisory Boards. NAF's record of success with high graduation and college-going rates has garnered the support of corporations, public policy makers, and foundations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. For more information, visit

About the New York Life Foundation
Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided more than $155 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. Through its focus on “Nurturing the Children,” the Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement. The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees, agents, and retirees of New York Life through its Volunteers for Life program. To learn more, please visit the Foundation’s Web site at