Welcome Back to School from NAF CEO, Lisa Dughi

Lisa Dughi
October 12, 2022

Since kicking off the 2022-2023 school year, I think it is important to take a moment to first celebrate you all for your tireless work, passion, and dedication to educating and mentoring our NAF students. This time of year is full of anticipation and excitement, as we take an optimistic look towards the future and the impact we will have. 

The past few years have challenged us all personally and professionally, but from those difficult times came new ideas and innovations of how you perform your work and how we can better support you to achieve your goal. We have heard from you and are responding to ensure that you have what you need to ensure the best outcomes for all our students.

This year NAF is launching a slate of creative assets, campaigns, and tools to greater assist you and strengthen your efforts. Below is a small sampling of tools that you can expect to tap into throughout the coming months.

  • Work-based Learning gets an upgrade! NAF is thrilled to launch two new Work-Based learning (WBL) tools soon! We are taking a refreshed student-centered model approach to measuring the skills that students successfully achieve through their WBL experiences. All NAF academies offer a variety of activities, but how do we know if all our students are participating in these experiences? Are all of these activities making the impact we want them to? These two groundbreaking new tools will help academies quantify and evaluate work-based learning on both the academy and student levels.
  • WBL Participation Tracker will provide insight into the number and demographics of students participating in WBL activities within each academy. The tool will enable NAF academies to ensure that opportunities are available for all students.
  • WBL Impact Tracker will enable students to complete a quick survey, sharing their perceived impact after each WBL activity. The data will help educators identify which activities create the most impact and where gaps exist, informing NAF’s ongoing improvements to address students’ needs equitably.
  • Name A Future – and make it happen is full steam ahead! At NAF Next in July, we launched the year-long campaign to help tell the NAF story and build pride among your students, academy staff, advisory board members, and local employer partners. The Name A Future campaign materials, such as toolkits and videos, as well as suggestions on how to make the Name A Future campaign your own, will be available on nameafuture.org on October 17. In the meantime, you can still get involved by sharing your Name A Future story with us on social media. We want to hear from you; get involved and be sure to use #NameAFuture and tag us @nafcareeracads!  
  • NAF’s new ed-tech product, KnoPro, is launching soon! The wait is almost over. In the spirit of aligning with our mission of solving some of today’s most challenging problems in education, NAF is developing new tech-enabled offerings to increase the scale and availability of work-based learning opportunities to hundreds of thousands more high school students. Introducing KnoPro, NAF’s new interactive mobile-friendly platform that is launching this fall! This is a 100% FREE web-based platform, where students can tackle real-world problems faced by industry leaders, grow their professional skills, and have a chance to win cash prizes, scholarships, and more. KnoPro’s goal is to help students, with input from teachers and industry mentors, develop in-demand career skills and connections that will propel them forward in their career journeys.

We’re so excited for these rollouts that all take a student-centered approach. And we know we can’t do this alone! I am personally so thankful to each and every one of you, our educators, for being our partners in this important work to ensure students are college, career, and future ready.

Thank you for your unwavering commitment to our students, and we wish you the very best on a continued successful, happy, and healthy school year. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if there are other ways, that we can support you.

View Bio

Lisa is the CEO at NAF. She oversees Programmatic, Operational, and Administration functions responsible for supporting a network of over 600 college preparatory, career-themed academies serving over 120,000 students in 34 states, plus DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. At NAF, she has previously held positions of President, Chief Operating Officer, and Vice President of Marketing & Communications.

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