By Aparna Shibu
The Academy of Finance is a program that opens opportunities for high school students to learn and prepare for careers in business and financial services. Today, the nationwide program runs in more than 400 high schools in 40 states, with more than 20,000 students enrolled. There is more to the field of business than money made in profit. Numerous people research, analyze and buy and sell commodities, stocks, bonds, foreign currencies, credit, real estate, insurance, and other financial products. The relevancy of these commodities only highlights the importance of business education.
Source by Anna Detke
The Academy of Finance is offered to students, starting from as early as freshman year.
The Academy of Finance provides an enriched, elective, four-year comprehensive academic program for high school students. Students are able to develop essential career skills, evaluate their potential for success, personal goals, and experiences that help to bridge connections between their education and the workplace. Through the program, students can earn up to 33 college credits. Freshman year, students can choose to take the Computer Essentials course, followed by an introduction to Computer Analysis & Information Processing and Business Concepts and Practices in sophomore year. In junior year, students dive into the Principles of Management, Principles of Marketing, World Economics, Advanced Computer Applications, and Work Prep Success. Lastly, senior year focuses on students gaining knowledge of Principles of Accounting 1 & 2, Introduction to Business, Personal Finance, Wall Street & Investments, and Commercial Law 1.
The Academy of Finance is run by Ms. Teetz, who runs recruitments and is the program manager.
Q: What is your opinion on being involved in a program like the Academy of Finance?
Ms. Christine Teetz: I’m very proud to be the program manager of the Academy of Finance for the last 18 years. This program is very important to me. One word comes to mind over and over throughout the years and it is family. The Academy has current students of past graduates, as well as relatives whether that be siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. Apart from that though, the academy itself becomes a special kind of family. It’s a very unique experience, and watching each of the last 18 classes grow into successful men and women beyond the walls of high school is a credit to their Academy experience. I was an Academy of Finance graduate, and so was my sister who is now a member of the Advisory Board.
Various students within our school, district, and those who graduated have all enjoyed the various benefits and opportunities provided by the Academy of Finance.
Q: When did you join the Academy of Finance and why?
Edric Balgos: I joined the Academy of Finance in 2019 my freshman year because I’ve always thought about making my own business and I thought this could possibly help build the particular skills necessary to succeed.
Zain Ali: I joined AoF because personally, I heard it was a really good business program and had a lot of opportunities for students who want to take a step in that direction. I personally thought that AoF fit my criteria for my future career, and that’s mainly why I picked it.
Q: How has your experience been in the program?
Aleeya Gonzalez: I’ve really enjoyed my experiences in the program so far. Since some students come from the other schools in the district, I’ve made new friends. Also, the business teachers are great and offer something different you can learn from them…It has helped me come out of my comfort zone by working in groups and presenting.
Angelica Lopez: In the Academy, I knew people who had joined from my previous school, Sewanhaka, and they seemed to really enjoy it, so I looked more into it and really liked what they had to offer. I love this program since it’s given me so many opportunities to learn more about business, go on field trips and talk with business professionals and professors.
Q: Would you recommend this program to other students and why?
Roby Shaji: If you are going into business, yes, because it provides you with so many credits you’re practically skipping a year. Also, the classes are easy, so they’re great GPA boosters.
Andrew Jung: I would definitely recommend at least looking into the program because personally, I didn’t really look into it much. But as I learned about the program, it became more appealing to me and if this program is what you’re looking for, then yeah.
Q: How has this program helped you as a student?
Helen Thomas (AoF Class of 2021 graduate): I got my very first job interview at a hospital coming up. Walking through the interview process, I remembered all the things I learned through the program, guiding me through what to say, having the right attire, and how to present myself in front of the employer. The lessons I learned in AoF still ring true to this day, from small tips and tricks to properly effectively managing time and money to getting out of my comfort zone. I learned to type faster from all the typing lessons.