NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans partnered with Nissan to host more than 250 guests at the Academies of Nashville 10th anniversary event, a joint project with Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS), the Nashville Chamber of Commerce and PENCIL.
"Nissan sponsors the Academies of Nashville because of the connections they make between education and possibilities after graduation," said Rebecca Vest, Nissan vice president of Corporate Development and Social Responsibility. "By engaging high school students in fields that appeal to them, academies can help to spark their interest and set them on a course toward a productive, satisfying career."
More than 40 different academies are offered within the 12 zoned high schools in MNPS. Nissan's partnership with the Academies of Nashville began in 2010 with Antioch High School in the Academy of Engineering and Automotive Technology. In 2012, Nissan expanded the partnership in the Academy of Science and Engineering at Stratford STEM Magnet High School.
"It's benefitting our community because our community thinks about education in a very different way. The partnership helps our kids think about the future, the type of work and economic development," said Sito Narcisse, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Chief of Schools. "We are a growing city, and we have great businesses that are coming here! We aren't the 'it' city for nothing, so we are preparing our kids for that. The community embraces this new model, and it helps us keep kids here and helps us to keep growing our system."
Both Antioch and Stratford high schools have produced a winning team in both the FIRST[WJ1] and VEX[WJ2] Robotics Challenges. In 2016, Stratford's team "SpartaBot" was named the Smokey Mountain Robotics Champions and then advanced to compete in the FIRST Robotics World Championship, where the team placed 16th among 600 teams from around the globe.
In the Academies of Nashville, the students choose what (and how) they want to learn. Academies offer a practical, hands-on approach to learning in a field that interests students, ranging from engineering to healthcare. The goal is to prepare students for college and ultimately for their dream jobs. To accomplish both of those goals, students need to have some control over what they want to learn. The Academies of Nashville are designed to give students a good look into what future careers are actually like, so that they can make timely, informed decisions and discover their true passions.
"Personally, it is so energizing to watch students get excited about math and English because now they see a context for that as opposed to drudgery that they have to go through every day. They can visualize themselves in roles that they never dreamed even existed, and they weren't able to visualize themselves in those roles before," said Angie Adams, CEO of PENCIL. "It gives me motivation to get up every day, to ask more business partners in the community to stand up and partner with Nissan and our high schools."
"This is such a wonderful program that Nissan puts together by engaging high school students as they are beginning their career path," said Brad McClanahan, Titans Director of Marketing. Bringing the event here to Nissan Stadium and, from the Titans perspective, being a small part of that is obviously a thrill for us."
Nissan supports its global vision of enriching people's lives by offering customers unparalleled products and services and by improving the quality of life in the communities where it operates.
Titans, Nissan host 10th Anniversary for Academies of Nashville. (Photos: Lynne McCracken)