Washington, D.C., Nov. 15, 2011– The Securities and Exchange Commission today hosted a shadowing event at its Washington D.C. headquarters and several regional offices to enable high school students studying finance to gain some firsthand knowledge about the government’s work to protect investors.
The students are involved in the Academy of Finance, one of five career-themed academies that are part of the National Academy Foundation (NAF). More than 250 students are visiting SEC offices this week in Washington, Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco. They’re hearing from SEC Commissioners Elisse Walter and Troy Paredes and other SEC leaders in group discussions, and are then paired with an SEC professional to observe the workday. SEC staff members from various divisions and offices volunteered to be shadowed, and are enjoying the opportunity to explain their work and interact with America’s next generation of financial professionals.
“By shadowing an SEC employee for the day, students can learn about the SEC’s mission on behalf of investors and the work that we do on a daily basis to achieve it,” said Kathy Floyd, a Deputy Director in the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy. “We hope to pique the students’ interest as they consider their own potential career paths in the financial services industry or in public service at an agency like the SEC.”
JD Hoye, President of the National Academy Foundation, added, “The National Academy Foundation provides students with experiences that allow them to see the real world applications of what they are learning in school and hone the skills necessary to excel in their careers. Through our partnership with the SEC, students gain a window into an important part of the financial industry, underscoring the relevance of their class work and exposing them to possible career paths.”
The shadowing program helps the SEC meet objectives in Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which calls for federal financial regulators to seek diversity in their workforce at all levels and, where feasible, to partner with inner-city high schools, girls’ high schools, and high schools with primarily minority populations to establish or enhance financial literacy programs and provide mentoring.
There are nearly 500 academies across the country in NAF’s network, more than 200 of which are Academies of Finance reaching more than 20,000 students. Academy of Finance students are taught a curriculum that covers accounting, banking, credit issues, economics, financial planning, international finance, and securities. The curriculum is complemented by work-based learning experiences such as job shadowing.
Earlier this year, the SEC piloted the Student Shadowing Program at its Washington D.C. headquarters and hosted 28 high school students for the day from a local Academy of Finance in Prince George’s County, Md. The program has since expanded to the SEC’s regional offices as well. The Academy of Finance students will be returning for another shadowing day scheduled for spring 2012.
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