SAP customer NAF is on a mission to solve some of the biggest challenges facing education and the economy by bringing education, business, and community leaders together to transform the high school experience.

In an interview with CXO Talk’s Michael Krigsman, NAF Chief Operating Officer Lisa Dughi talks about how technology is NAF achieve its purpose.

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“NAF is a national network of business and education partners that are working together to really transform the high school experience,” Dughi says. “We’re primarily in under-served high schools, and we’re really focused on getting kids ready for college and careers. The industry part of it is so important because business people get to be a part of educating their future employees and their future leaders.”

On the mission of NAF:  
“It really is to make sure that every student has access to a successful future. We want to make sure that kids, particularly ones who don’t have the role models at home or in their community, are able to see what a future can look like and then get to really learn how to create the pathway in their high school experience.”

“It’s as critical as ever when we hear things about the skills gap. While unemployment is certainly going down, the opportunity for jobs that are careers, that have a family-sustaining wage, that are helping to end cycles of poverty, it’s so critical… We need to make sure that, particularly in areas where there isn’t necessarily the access to opportunity, that we’re providing it. Kids in high school get to see that there is a pathway out of an environment that perhaps isn’t as opportunistic as they would like it to be, and bringing in business partners because they talk about the fact that they can’t find the skilled employees that they need.”

On the transformational role of technology:
“We are in the process of building a platform that we’re calling My NAFTrack, that is going to help facilitate the NAFTrack program where students will be able to create profiles about their experience in the NAF Academies, their professional experiences, and their internships, of course. Companies will be able to see that and will be able to find not only interns but, eventually, future employees.”

“I think that technology obviously is the disruptor for every industry. I don’t think education is any different, and so I do think that, as there are ideas about using technology for personalized learning and the way a classroom looks and feels, I think that this, in terms of for NAF, is going to help us start to think about how we are a part of that.” She concludes with the vision of the organization.

Watch the full interview above to see how NAF is leading with a purpose and optimizing high school education for under-served populations.

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