A majority of the students who participate in the National Academy Foundation have their academic competencies in order. Brushing up on their so-called "soft skills" was the focus of a series of workshops held at Niagara University yesterday.
The 275-plus high school students in attendance engaged in seminars on business leadership, interpersonal skills, dining etiquette and social media propriety.
Each of the high schools that were on campus - Barker, Clarence, Depew, Hamburg, Lake Shore, Lewiston-Porter, North Tonawanda, Orchard Park and West Seneca - maintains an NAF Academy of Finance. The academies connect students with professionals working in the areas of financial services and personal finance, and offer courses on banking and credit, financial planning, global finance, securities, insurance, accounting and economics.
Presenters included etiquette expert John Bourdage, Niagara business professor Mitch Alegre, and Michael Freedman, NU's associate director of public relations and manager of online content.
The day culminated with a luncheon that allowed the students, dressed in business casual attire, to practice some of the techniques learned during the workshops.
"We know that these students are more than capable of performing well in the classroom setting," said Christine Schwartz, associate director of continuing education at NU. "The goal of this event is to offer them pointers on how to conduct themselves in a professional manner elsewhere, both in person and online."
This was the third time Niagara University held the daylong program.
The National Academy Foundation, per its website, is an organization that develops industry-focused academic curricula and work-based experiential learning opportunities to prepare young people for college and career success.
For more information on Niagara University, visit www.niagara.edu.