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©1999 BaySCAN


FSNet News #6 -- September 3, 1999

This newsletter will be the first of a series to highlight and review the activities at the National Academy Foundationís "15th Annual Institute for Staff Development." For those that are not familiar with NAF, it is a non-profit corporation with a mission to ìcreate Academy programs by partnering industry and the public sector in order to provide quality, industry-specific education and work experiences for high school students nationwide as preparation for careers, college and all areas of their lives.î Participation in NAF results in access to curriculum materials and a nationwide network of practitioners and business partners. Several schools in the Bay Area are members of the Academy of Finance program within NAF.

As the title indicates, the focus of the conference is on staff development. However, one of the most uplifting events this year was NAFís recognition of its 1999 alumni of the year, attended by President Clinton. The award recognizes several former Academy student that have continued to "give back" to the programs that helped shape their career goals and contribute to their accomplishments. Two of the eleven honorees were from the Bay Area! The following profiles are quotes from the "1999 Academy Alumni Highlights."

Shantel Brooks, Class of 1997:
Shantel Brooks became one of the youngest brokers in the United States at age 19. The summer after her high school and Academy of Finance graduation, she studied intensely for the General Securities Brokerage Series 7 exam and passed the exam six months later. How did she achieve this early success? "I believe that the tools provided by the Academy helped me get a jumpstart on a career in the financial services industry," Shantel says.

"The challenging classes, work experience and career mentors all pushed me to think about my future, and the steps I could take to achieve my goals."

As a high school intern in the human resources department at Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., she helped place over 50 fellow student interns who were successful in their positions throughout the company. Now, when sheís not studying Economics as a junior at Spelman College, Shantel is gaining experience at Schwabís Atlanta branch, where she transferred following high school. Sheís been promoted to Broker Associate, and has been invited to take part in the companyís two-week Investment Specialist training program this summer.

Shantel keeps in touch with the AOF [Academy of Finance] students that she mentored through her work at Schwab. She is a role model to other young women interested in financial services, demonstrating what can happen when a personal drive to succeed finds opportunity in the Academy program.

Shantel graduated from International Studies High School in San Francisco.

Dan Lopez, Class of 1994:
As a student in the Academy of Travel & Tourism (AOTT), Dan Lopez learned how the power of positive thinking can change a negative interaction into an interesting situation. "PMI-Plus, Minus, Interesting-is a concept I learned in the Academy," Dan Says. "I learned how to react in any situation: how to identify the positives, sort out the negatives, and highlight the interesting. Itís helped me to be pro-active in every aspect of my job at the hotel." Itís also helped him to manage a full-time college program while working 45 hours a week.

After his Academy graduation, Dan explored working in both sides of hotel operations-on the front-lines in guest relations and behind-the-scenes working in accounting. Since beginning his employment at the Homewood Suites Hotel, Dan has been promoted four times-from Night Auditor to Accountant, Front Office Supervisor to Front Office Manager. Heís also active on his Academyís advisory board, supervises Academy interns at the hotel, participates in the Academyís annual mock-interview process and participates in panel discussions to help develop AOTT students as future hospitality professionals. Dan has also been an active member of his Academyís alumni association.

"I keep in touch with and network with my former classmates" We can help each other in our education and training to become the next leaders of the industry."

Dan graduated from Oak Grove High School in San Jose.

President Clinton was accompanied by Governor Davis and Sanford Weill, Chairman of the Citigroup. The three of them expressed support for the Academy model and goals. The NY Times covered the event in the July 9, 1999 edition. A copy of the article is available here.

Future newsletters will review some of the great materials from the conference sessions. If you attended the conference with the Network by writing a brief email.