NRF Foundation announces 2022 RISE Up Partner of the Year

By Lottie Watts

The NRF Foundation will honor Phoenix Union High School District’s Trevor G. Browne High School as its 2022 RISE Up Partner of the Year.

The award – presented by Old Navy – celebrates the school for its innovative use of the NRF Foundation’s RISE Up training and credentialing program to make a positive impact on individuals and communities.

"Trevor G. Browne High School is a shining example of how to bring our retail skills training to life in engaging ways to empower people to build great careers,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Bill Thorne says. “The staff is dedicated to ensuring students get the experience and skills they need to thrive in their first roles and beyond.”

Training from the NRF Foundation is offered at Trevor G. Browne High School as part of its marketing program, where students run an on-campus store, applying what they’ve learned to a wide variety of retail operations – picking products, setting prices, interacting with customers, working as part of a team and more.

“The students get a lot of the foundational knowledge that they need to be successful,” said teacher John-Martin Rigsby, who heads the program at Trevor G. Browne High School. “Most of my students that finish their RISE Up credential add that to their resume, and they are at the top of a hiring list because they hold that industry credential that a lot of the employers in our area are now starting to recognize.”

Part of that recognition comes from outreach by Rigsby to hiring managers at local retailers, meeting with them to explain the benefits of hiring his students who hold RISE Up credentials. Those efforts have grown into campus career fairs, with retailers seeking out talent from the pool of candidates trained with RISE Up courses at Phoenix Union’s largest high school.

“Bringing in real-world learning opportunities and providing those connections between what they're learning in school to specific, tangible jobs and workforce opportunities really elevates opportunities not only for our students, but for our families in this community,” Trevor G. Browne High School Principal Stephanie Streeter said. “It helps students build confidence in their future careers and even helps the families gain experiences as well.”

The 2022 NRF Foundation RISE Up Partner of the Year will be celebrated at the NRF Foundation Honors in New York City, where Trevor G. Browne High School’s story will be shared with retail’s most influential leaders.

In addition to celebrating the RISE Up Partner of the Year, the NRF Foundation Honors recognizes The Visionary and The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future, along with the recipients of its undergraduate scholarships.

Learn how your organization can join the more than 1,200 schools, workforce development centers and retailers offering RISE Up courses here. Courses are available online, in the classroom or a combination of both and are designed to help people of all backgrounds build the skills needed for life-changing careers.

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