June 26, 2012 12:02 ET

NYC's 'Advertising' High School Awards Diplomas to First Graduating Class

Brooklyn's High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media (IAM) Was Established in 2008

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jun 26, 2012) - The High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media (IAM) graduated its very first class of seniors in commencement exercises held today at the Brooklyn Museum.

Interpublic Group chairman CEO Michael Roth delivered the commencement address to the graduates, saying, "Five years ago, when a bunch of us in the industry came up with the idea for IAM, we looked forward to this day, when we'd be seeing you -- the first graduating class -- completing your studies. What you've accomplished is impressive: 48 of you are graduating today, with 80 percent going on to college."

He continued, "Just as impressive is what you've achieved in learning about the business. You have created campaigns for real clients, and presented them before leading industry professionals. This was the idea behind IAM -- to prepare you for your future, to open your eyes to the possibilities."

The 4A's, the leading trade association for the advertising industry, led the years-long effort to establish IAM High School in 2008 on the campus of the former Canarsie High School in Brooklyn, as a way to educate young adults about the advertising industry, cultivate a more diverse work force and to prepare students for the business world.

"American businesses are realizing that to remain competitive in a global marketplace, there's value to be found in partnering with public schools to develop the next generation of the labor force," said Nancy Hill, President-CEO of the 4A's. "It's particularly important for the advertising and marketing industry, which is suffering a talent drain to tech and financial firms. This school is now one of the wells we'll draw from for talent for many years to come."

Hill added that schools like IAM High School are able to re-engage students in their core academic subjects by showing them the practical use of the skills learned in the classroom. At IAM, students have the opportunity to take workshops in the creative aspects of advertising (copywriting, art direction), in understanding media planning and buying, and in web-site production and design.

Many of the graduates plan to pursue their education by attending 2- or 4-year post-secondary schools. Four graduating seniors -- Tevin Jeffery, Meagan Francis, Darren Freeman and Jermaine Richards -- received portions of a $60,000 scholarship from the Advertising Club of New York to continue their educations.

Besides the first graduating class, the school has 330 students from grades nine through 12, and some of its milestones thus far are as follows:

  • On May 4, 2012, IAM High School opened a student-run full-service advertising agency on campus, and it is working on ad assignments from local Brooklyn businesses
  • IAM has formed long-term partnerships with the 4A's and its member agencies, such as, McCann-Erickson, Deutsch, DraftFCB, Digitas, Publicis, McGarryBowen and Euro RSCG
  • Through these ad agencies, the IAM Advertising Agency is working with blue-chip marketers including Jaguar and Google
  • In March 2012, IAM students contributed to an integrated marketing campaign for Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" initiative to combat childhood obesity

IAM is the first accredited high school in the country that has advertising and marketing as part of its core curriculum, and it is certified to award Career and Technical Education (CTE) diplomas. It is one of 35 CTE high schools in New York City.

The 4A's Nancy Hill said that IAM High School is the model for what she hoped will be many other public high schools in cities around the country that will develop advertising-focused curricula to graduate students who are prepared for post-secondary education and the business world.

About the 4A's
The 4A's (American Association of Advertising Agencies) was founded in 1917 as the national trade association of the advertising industry, providing leadership, advocacy and best-practices guidelines for some 1,200 member agencies. It also serves as the liaison to government, media, and the public sector. For more information, visit the 4A's Web site at

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