Hampton is first Ford NGL Designated Community in Virginia, one of only 23 in nation
More than 300 community members, including students, educators, city officials, parents, business and community leaders, gathered at the Hampton Roads Convention Center on April 20, as Ford Next Generation Learning Executive Director Cheryl Carrier presented Hampton City Schools with the designation award. Hampton is one of only 23 designated communities across the country, and the first in the Commonwealth.
“The district, Superintendent Jeffery Smith and his team and the community have decided that good is not enough and that the students here deserve to have the absolute best education they can have,” said Carrier. “They have made a commitment to build these career academies so that students walk away with the skills they need to be really successful in college, career and life.
“I think they also see that this is really a way to engage students in meaningful learning,” Carrier added. “It’s not just about learning math and science, but it’s about learning it in the context of something the student is going to actually be very passionate about.”
The designation ceremony included performances by Hampton High School Band, Phoebus High School Band, Bethel High School Band, HCS Jazz Band, Kecoughtan High School Show Choir, KHS Band and HCS Steel Drum Ensemble. Student ambassadors from the current academies greeted guests and displayed their work. Awards were also presented to community partners, including the City of Hampton, Peninsula Council for Workforce Development, the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, and Thomas Nelson Community College.
James Shoffner, USAF Officer, retired, served as the master of ceremonies, and student emcees, including Alexandra Luchtenberg, Jerrell Smith, and Joseph Santos, Jr. from BHS, and Xavier Williams from HHS, led the program.
The Ford NGL model mobilizes educators, employers, and community leaders to prepare a new generation of young people who will graduate from high school ready for college, career, and life, while prepared to compete successfully in the 21st century economy.
Using the Ford NGL model, The Academies of Hampton will prepare students for college and careers by providing opportunities to learn academics through the lens of a career. Academies also make learning more relevant and engaging as students get to work with professionals in the field who mentor them in their projects and develop problem-solving, critical-thinking, communication and teamwork skills through engaging in real-world problems. The overall goal of the academies is to equip students to make informed decisions about their future.
“We are very proud to be the first school division in Virginia designated as a Ford NGL community,” said HCS Superintendent Dr. Jeffery Smith. “We are excited about the transformation of our high schools into career-themed academies to provide our students with more of the advanced skills they need to be productive, engaged, and successful citizens in college, career, and life.”
In order to be designated a Ford NGL community, Hampton developed a five-year master plan to increase the number of students learning in college and career academies and broaden its reach in Hampton and the peninsula through affiliations with senior business, education and civic leaders.
Ford NGL communities have demonstrated success through higher graduation rates, increased academic achievement, lower dropout rates and industry certifications earned in high school.
“Ford NGL research has proven that community ownership and accountability is just as important to educating our children as good study habits and hard work,” said Carrier. ”The Ford NGL partnership gives Hampton City Schools students and teachers a competitive edge that not only improves their chances for future success, but will benefit the community as a whole for years to come.”
Ford executives visited all four high schools, met with business executives, and celebrated with the Hampton community.
For more information on The Academies of Hampton, check out these videos:
HCS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age or other protected classes in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Robbin G. Ruth, Executive Director, Human Resources, One Franklin Street, Hampton, VA 23669 757-727-2000.
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