Academy of Finance

Independence High School

Pathway Contact

Chau Quach

At its core, IHS Academy of Finance has been molded into a program that equips students with the life and financial skills they’ll need for their future. Our focus on personal finance and career readiness challenges students to begin thinking about their goals and ambitions from an early age while developing the skills and knowledge needed to attain their own version of success. Experiential learning such as business events, club involvement and community outreach seek to provide students with positive role models from which to learn valuable life skills and lessons. By taking this holistic approach to student preparedness, we hope to give students every opportunity to experience positive life outcomes as a direct result of enrollment in the IHS Academy of Finance.

Indepence High School’s Academy of Finance Pathway teaches you to:

  • Understand the basic principles of business, accounting and personal finance
  • Write a business plan and pitch their idea in a regional business plan competition for cash prizes
  • Develop career readiness skills such as resume writing, career research and job interviewing
  • Learn effective money management and investment strategies
  • Become exposed to ideas for reducing student loan and credit card debt

What types of real-world opportunities do you offer in finance and business?

IHS Academy of Finance offers opportunities to network and connect with local professionals during events
such as Entrepreneurship Summit, Leadership Conference, Networking Conference, Mock Interview Extravaganza and Speakers Series.

Can I get college credit?

We offer two courses that have been articulated with Mission College to give students 3 units of college credit for completing Introduction to Business and Economics of Small Business Ownership (Entrepreneurship).

Does this program advance both career and college?

We partner with local professionals and organizations to provide paid internship and leadership program opportunities throughout the course of the academic year. Students are offered mentorship by local professionals in a year-long program that helps students set and achieve their goals while gaining useful insight on how to find success. Organic connections often lead to rewarding outcomes, and we strive to provide students with as many opportunities as possible during their time with IHS Academy of Finance.

Graduates of the Academy of Finance at Independence High School have gone into the following fields:

  • Finance and Banking
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Client Relations & Management

In a word, my experience in the Academy of Finance has been transformative. At the beginning of high school, I struggled to find who I was and how I wanted to contribute to society. From my freshman class in Computer/Information Technology, to the work I have done as President of the Finance Club my senior year, the academy has helped me find that passion and grow as a person. In my classes, I have been pushed to build the necessary skills for a professional environment while being supported in my career exploration and research. Although I attend a very large school, the teachers and advisors in the Academy of Finance have always given me the individual attention that has helped me excel in my classes and extracurriculars. I could always count on my teachers to help me on homework assignments without judgement or to prepare for a job interview.

Every time there was a scholarship opportunity or an intern position open, academy teachers would provide these resources to the students. I even got my first internship, in the marketing and communications department at San Jose City Council, through the academy. Even during the stressful college application process, academy advisors took the time to review my essays and gave me advice that helped me get into my dream school, UC Berkeley! It is evident that the Academy genuinely wants to see their students succeed and will do anything they can to help students achieve their goals. Throughout the years, I became more and more active in the academy. I took on leadership positions, attended every networking or social event, participated in the Mentorship Program, and took advantage of all the workshops and resources it had to offer. The more time I put into the Academy of Finance, the more I learned. Being able to contribute to something larger than myself and raising awareness on the importance of financial literacy taught me how to collaborate with other individually talented students to positively impact the space I’m in. I will carry the professional and leadership skills I gained and value so highly, along with my newfound confidence and courage, with me to college and beyond.


Krystal Chung

Academy of Finance Senior – Class of 2021

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