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Rochester Education Foundation:  Because every child deserves a great education.
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"I would definitely recommend the program to other employers based on the ability to encourage students to seek new and different careers that they may not have the opportunity to explore."
-- Pat Pendell
Harris Corporation

Student Careers Program-National Academy Foundation

When given the opportunity to succeed, Rochester City School students can excel! That is what is at the heart of our Student Careers Program-NAF, giving students the opportunities and tools they need to succeed in today’s marketplace. We support students who are members of the National Academy Foundation (NAF) program at STEM High School and Charlotte High School, and students attending other schools in the Rochester City School District.

We encourage employers to consider hiring a student for a summer internship or exploring other ways to support the program!

Students completing paid internships during the summer of 2013 achieved great success at a wide range of employers including ESL Federal Credit Union, Xerox, Harris Corporation, Rochester Red Wings, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, M/E Engineering, D3 Technologies, and the Wegmans IT department. Over 90% of supervisors stated that they enjoyed being part of the experience and that they would like to be part of the program again.

National Academy Foundation and Other Opportunities


Sample photo
Photos: Stuart Hencke
REF-supported internships enable students to gain valuable experience.


Students at STEM High School and Charlotte High School receive career training in school through the National Academy Foundation program. This program offers training in engineering, information technology and health sciences at STEM and finance and hospitality and tourism at Charlotte. They receive workplace training and preparation for specific careers. Students in these programs have an opportunity to interview for a paid internship in the summer after their junior year.

REF provides support for NAF-program students in the workplace and for employers of these students. In the summer of 2013, this included helping students prepare for work with mock interviews, regular contact with students and employers, assistance to students who needed help getting work and school documents, newsletters regarding the progress of students and the participation of employers, and evaluation of the experience shared by all participants.

There are other work opportunities also for city students who are not in these programs also benefit from paid summer internships. For these other students, REF has created a three-tier program involving skills training, career exploration, and summer work internships.

Skills training

Students often need information about how to navigate and excel in the workpace. A partnership between REF and Junior Achievement enables students to receive skills training through the Junior Achievement Career Success program to ensure job readiness. This offers specific skills training to students so are job-ready from the start.

Career Exploration

Choosing a career field to explore can be a difficult decision to make: both in determining what to do and how to do it. Through guest speakers and firsthand exposure through visits to worksites, students gain insight in the kinds of career fields and businesses that interest them and where they can flourish.

Work Experience

Gaining on-the-job experience through a summer internship creates a doorway to success and enhanced opportunities for city students. It helps build skills, build confidence, and show students the pathways to take to become a successful adult.

Hosting an intern can also help your company. Interns have added real business value at their host sites and have provided businesses with potential future employees such as Cortez Jones, who completed an internship with ESL in 2003 and has recently been promoted to a branch manager position.

Summer internships enable students to use the skills they have learned to practice in the real world in a career field of their interest.

Interested in Getting Involved?

There are many ways to get involved with the Student Careers Program from hosting a summer intern, to providing job-shadow experiences, to talking to a group of students about your career, or joining a school advisory board. Whatever your level of interest, we can work with you to find a satisfactory experience.

Support the Program



Use the button at right to make a donation in support of REF and the Student Careers Program-National Academy Foundation.

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