NAF Internship Program Sees Exponential Growth

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In its second year, NAF Future Ready Labs across the country will provide nearly 200 internships to high school students

NAF is pleased to announce that NAF Future Ready Labs are expanding. Now entering its second year, NAF Future Ready Labs (FRL) are multi-week (between 4-5 weeks), paid internships that provides students with the opportunity to complete a project of value to the host company in a collaborative, group-based experience. Nine FRLs will take place in seven cities across the country between the beginning of June and mid-August, with the help of NAF and its corporate partners. Over 180 students were accepted to be a part of FRLs this summer, with an average of twenty students in each. The experience and skills gained from this program help prepare students to be future ready.

NAF Future Ready Labs are designed to scale the quantity of meaningful internships that companies can make available for students. In collaboration with a corporate partner, NAF provides students with an opportunity to put their education into practice in a unique work environment. Students complete 120-150 hours in their internship, which not only requires a project of value on behalf of the corporate partner, but also includes participation in skill-building workshops, exposure to higher education, and opportunities to connect with professionals who serve as mentors. This structure allows for corporate partners to play a more flexible role throughout the internship process, while still meeting their need to build a diverse and skilled talent pipeline.

The pilot phase of FRL served almost 100 students, in three cities — Dallas, TX, Eden Prairie, MN, and New York, NY. Mastercard, World Wide Technology (WWT), Dallas Entrepreneurial Center (DEC), University of Missouri - St. Louis (UMSL) join the roster of returning partners: Capital One, KPMG, Optum, Verizon, and The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). The labs will take place in the following areas:

  • Boston, MA – Powered by Optum
  • Eden Prairie, MN – Powered by Optum
  • New York, NY – Powered by the NYC Academy Foundation in association with KPMG
  • New York, NY – Powered by the NYC Academy Foundation in association with Verizon and SAP
  • Ontario, CA – Powered by Optum
  • Dallas, TX – Powered by Capital One in partnership with UTD and DEC
  • Dallas, TX – Powered by Capital One in partnership with UTD
  • St. Louis, MO – Powered by WWT, Mastercard, and KPMG (with UMSL)
  • Sunnyvale, CA – Powered by Oath, A Verizon Company

NAF Future Ready Labs are a collaboration between NAF, corporate partners, and academy and district representatives to design a high-quality paid internship experience in for high school students in an innovative and comprehensive structure. Interns get the chance to be a part of a professional team, where their input into projects are valued, and to network with business professionals to gain confidence in speaking with executives. Through the course of the internship, students are evaluated and assessed to them with guidance for continuous improvement. By increasing the number of FRL, NAF exposes more high school students to work-based learning opportunities and provides them with the tools to create a successful career path.

“NAF Future Ready Labs are unique because they provide high school students with more than just career experience. Students leave their internship feeling like they’re part of the company and valued for their contributions. They also have the opportunity to learn from other students and build essential skills for teamwork, which is something they cannot gain from a traditional internship setting,” said Brooke Rice, Director of Future Ready Labs at NAF.

“KPMG is proud to once again partner with NAF to help develop the next generation of leaders. In step with our commitment to life-long learning, the NAF Future Ready Labs help students become college- and career-ready as they work on real-time business questions with the support of experienced mentors. The Labs provide invaluable hands-on skill-building and development opportunities,” said Miriam Hernandez-Kakol, KPMG Global Service Line Leader for Customer and Operations.

“These internships expand opportunities for the leaders of tomorrow,” said Sanjiv Yajnik, Capital One President, Financial Services and treasurer of the NAF Board of Directors. “We were thrilled to pilot Future Ready Labs in North Texas last summer and look forward to growing it this year, as we strengthen the talent pipeline, and arm students with skills that will prepare them for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

Visit our website to find out more about NAF Future Ready Labs and learn how you can partner with us to host one next year!

About NAF:

NAF is a national network of education, business, and community leaders who work together to ensure that 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, work-based learning experiences, and relationships with business professionals, 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 2017-18 school year, more than 100,000 students attended 644 NAF academies across 36 states, including DC and the US Virgin Islands. In 2017, NAF academies reported 97% of seniors graduated with 90% of graduates with post-secondary intentions. For more information, please visit:

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