The Benjamin Franklin High School for Finance & Information Technology (BFIT) in Cambria Heights will give underserved high school students opportunities to get a head start in their careers with a new partnership.
The school, which opened in September 2014 and is located at 207-01 116th Ave., is partnering with NAF, an organization that specializes in developing career-themed public high schools across the country. Each school associated with NAF has strong business relationships with companies like Verizon, Marriott and Citi that work with students to educate them about career opportunities.
Currently, the high school serves 113 students in the ninth and 10th grades and plans to expand in the next three years to accommodate ninth- through 12th-graders, according to principal Carla Theodorou. Students will be exposed to job shadowing events, internships, career development workshops and mentoring through NAF.
BFIT will be using NAF approved Internet technology curriculum and is planning to become an approved NAF Academy of Finance, Theodorou said.
More than 5,000 business professionals are part of the NAF network and donate their time volunteering in classrooms, acting as mentors, giving NAF students internships and serving on local advisory boards. In 2014, NAF academies reported a 97 percent graduation rate.
BFIT students will graduate with industry-recognized certifications like Microsoft Office Specialist certification (MOS), Network +, web design and graphic design. The school also has an existing partnership with Queens College, which will allow students to take college credit courses and give teachers access to professional development through the QC School of Education.