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     In a year like no other, the academic world experienced an enormous shift as a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic, impacting students all across the country. Despite the challenges associated with virtual learning, Academy of Finance students went above and beyond to maintain their commitment to academics. We are so excited to share their remarks as they look back on an incredibly eventful year while preparing for the future. 

Juniors - Our juniors are reaching a pivotal point in their high school careers. As college applications are approaching, and standardized testing is occurring, our mentorship and internship programs have become increasingly important. When asked how those engagements are functioning in the virtual world, Caresse S. responded “although we don’t get the satisfaction of being face to face in the mentorship program, it has still had the same positive educational effect on me. The mentorship program has been very beneficial and I think it’s a great opportunity to have someone in your desired field to look up to and ask questions. Face to face or not, we were still able to achieve that.” Jennifer L. added that she wants to take advantage of the internship program and apply for a virtual job over the summer. 

Freshmen - While their first year of high school was nothing like what they expected, our freshmen have made a fantastic impression on the Academy and have truly found a way to adjust to the given challenges. When asked how adapting to online learning as a freshman has been, student Sandra P. acknowledged that it hasn’t gone without difficulty. “It’s been very difficult to adapt to online learning,” she says. Classmate Ying Z. added, “I used to dislike online learning because I was starved of social interaction, but I grew to love the smaller things it gave me such as being comfortable and having access to my entire pantry during school.” She understands the struggles that come with not meeting new people and says, “We might not all be struggling the same way, but we are all in the situation together to learn and grow!”

Seniors - Once again, we are approaching the time that another talented set of students will leave us and move on to secondary education come May. While we are sad to see our seniors go, we are incredibly excited to see how their achievements in the Academy will transfer over to college. We wanted to gain some insight on how these students felt that AOF impacted their futures. Al’ynnay G. said “The Academy of Finance has prepared me not only for college but for the real world by allowing me to have the opportunity to practice my speaking, listening, and communication skills. The mock interviews were an amazing event that helped me understand and experience how job interviews are structured. Also, certain classes that I’ve taken have helped me grow to become a bit more comfortable with presentations, which may be a big part of college, along with working with others, learning how to manage my time, and more.” Sheraine B. added “The Academy of Finance has been an amazing program to be a part of and it has helped me prepare for college and other aspects of my future in many ways.” We are so proud of their high school achievements!

Sophomores - Remaining highly involved in classes and Academy activities, we are seeing a great deal of growth in our sophomores as they continue to take on their second year of high school. We wanted to know how their shift from freshman to sophomore year impacted their expectations of the Academy of Finance and what it has to offer. Matthew Q. responded, “The shift between freshman year and sophomore year has impacted my vision and expectations for the Academy of Finance as a program to teach not only basic financial information but to teach college-ready finance. I truly believe when members of the Academy of Finance will truly develop skills based around the financial and business industries, becoming career ready. The Academy has much in store for these feature generations of business and financial people, and it is a great honor for me to be a part of this wonderful program.” Briana D. elaborated on the topic by offering some insight on how the Academy handled virtual learning. “They managed to maintain a good balance of work and teaching through the shift of in-person and online.” She really appreciates how “extremely understanding and flexible” the teachers are. “They allow a lot of room for growth in terms of workload. They went beyond my expectations especially compared to my other classes that aren’t a part of the AOF program.”

"How did the global pandemic impact you?"

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