A Model Citizen
Oct 01, 2013
Bank of America has always supported the connection between Nanelle Napp, Senior Vice President of Consumer Programs, and Citizen Schools North Carolina. In fact, by the time Napp learned of her recent appointment to the nonprofit’s Advisory Board, her team at the bank had already endorsed it.
The news came as no surprise to her colleagues. In the last two years, Napp has become a fixture at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School – leading programs for Citizen Schools North Carolina and encouraging peers to follow her lead. Executive Director Jake House considers Napp a model volunteer. “She does such a phenomenal job extending her wings within Bank of America and creating a culture of volunteers,” he said. Her recruits account for a quarter of the nonprofit’s volunteer base.
Napp is involved in a national Citizen Schools program that invites local professionals to lead 10-week, afterschool apprenticeships for low-income students. Citizen Teachers like Napp engage students in projects with real-life business applications and coach them along the way.
This year, Napp recruited 60 colleagues to teach seven apprenticeships. She and five peers led an apprenticeship on the basics of branding and marketing. Students presented their final recommendations to bank executives using telepresence technology.
“Before the program started, the students completed a personal analysis,” Napp said. “We saw in many of the responses that students thought they lacked public speaking skills. But, at the end of the program, when the students did their presentations, it was evident that they were actually great public speakers. They turned their weaknesses into strengths, which is very empowering.”
This result is typical of Citizen Schools’ programs. National surveys found that 90 percent of student participants leave feeling better about themselves and more committed to their education.
It was Napp’s personal commitment to education that motivated her to volunteer with Citizen Schools. “In my family, there’s a real passion for education. It really comes from my father – his parents were immigrants and he was the first person in his family to go to college,” she said.
She is proud to be part of a program that demonstrates the value of education to students at risk of dropping out. “It is a great experience to be part of something that gives students the vision to complete high school and attend college,” she said.