Program holds ‘distinguished’ students at Kernersville school to higher standards

KERNERSVILLE, N.C. -- At East Forsyth High School, students who get into the NAF Academy of Finance know they're doing something special.

The school's program was just recently named as one of only 70 in the nation to receive the designation of being "Distinguished." That is the highest performance level for high schools.

The Academy is a school within a school. Students have to interview to get in and once they do, they are held to high standards. The program is for three years and students have the opportunity to graduate with college credits.

Students take classes in accounting, applied finance, business law, civics and more -- all of this is in addition to their other classes.

"The kids have to be very dedicated to the course and work hard," said Tonya David, one of the programs two instructors.

But in return, they learn a lot.

"You get a lot of hands-on activities while you are in this program. You take many field trips. You get to do interviews with other business people." said student Gretia Yancey. "You take different courses, not only here at East, but your senior year you get to take some at our local community college so you have the potential to get college credits as well."

The curriculum also requires the students do an internship, working at least 120 hours in a business setting.

"It's kinda like you have to go behind the scenes of a company and learn how it operates and the finances that go into it," said junior Wade Bowman.

While there are about 150 students in the program, they are divided by their graduation year, so much of their learning is spent working with the same group. The students like knowing they all have the same goal.

"You kinda just have to want to learn business," says Bowman. "You kinda just have to want to be here. Because as soon as you do it's really fun."