NAF Celebrates 30 Years of the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism

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Thirty years ago, NAF launched its second career-themed academy, expanding from Academies of Finance, to also offer Academies of Hospitality & Tourism to high schools across the country in order to serve the needs of one of the world’s largest industries.

Thirty years ago, NAF launched its second career-themed academy, expanding from Academies of Finance, to also offer Academies of Hospitality & Tourism to high schools across the country in order to serve the needs of one of the world’s largest industries. The Academy of Hospitality & Tourism was launched in both New York and Miami with support from Marriott International and the American Express Foundation. Today, there are 93 Academies of Hospitality & Tourism serving nearly 11,000 students annually across 20 states, including DC and the US Virgin Islands.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, 284 million people are currently employed in travel and tourism, which equates to 1 in 11 jobs in the world. Travel and tourism contributes $1.5 trillion to the US economy. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that almost 1 million new leisure and hospitality jobs will be created between 2014-2024.

“NAF has been preparing the next generation of future ready hospitality and tourism employees for 30 years. This is something we are very proud of, and applaud the schools across the country for taking on the task of implementing NAF’s educational design to make this possible. We are also extremely grateful to our founding partners, Marriott International and the American Express Foundation, whose vision and support made this possible. We are proud to say that their support still remains strong today,” said JD Hoye, president of NAF.

Miami Springs Senior High School was the first Academy of Hospitality & Tourism in Florida back in 1987 and is still in operation today. Ann Fields, who currently oversees 16 NAF Academies of Hospitality & Tourism in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, led the effort locally at Miami Springs. “It’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years. Joining NAF in this effort has transformed our educational system in so many ways. We’ve seen the results. So many alumni are working in the booming hospitality and tourism market in Miami and across the country, and it’s all thanks to Miami’s partnership with NAF,” she said. For those graduates who did not pursue the hospitality & tourism industry directly, they transferred important life skills to become college, career, and future ready.

Support for the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism continues to grow. In 2015, Courtyard launched the Success for Youth program, committing 30,000 volunteer hours supporting 10,000 NAF students and teachers over the next three years. “Marriott has provided funding and employee engagement to NAF since its inception, and we wanted to take it one step further and make the Courtyard brand NAF’s dedicated partner in providing real world opportunities to our industry’s future leaders. The results so far have been impressive, and we can’t wait to see what these students accomplish in the future,” said Callette Nielsen, Vice President and Global Brand Manager of Courtyard at Marriott International.

About NAF

NAF is a national network of education, business, and community leaders who work together to ensure high school students are college, career, and future ready. NAF works with high need communities to transform the high school experience through an educational design that includes industry-specific curricula, relationships with business professionals, and work-based learning experiences culminating in a paid internship. NAF academies fit within and enhance school systems, allowing NAF to become an integral part of a plan for higher achievement at a low cost. NAF academies focus on one of five career themes: finance, hospitality & tourism, information technology, engineering, and health sciences. During the 2015-16 school year nearly 89,000 students attended 716 NAF academies across 36 states, including D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 2015, NAF academies reported 98% of seniors graduated with 92% of graduates with post-secondary intentions. For more information, please visit http://naf.org/

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Courtney Savoia
NAF
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