NDC, BIJC Launch Jewelry Education Program for High School Students

MajorsDec 13, 2023

NDC, BIJC Launch Jewelry Education Program for High School Students

It will be available beginning next fall for students at Baldwin High School on New York’s Long Island.

Natural Diamond Council and Black in Jewelry Coalition logos
The Natural Diamond Council and the Black In Jewelry Coalition have teamed up to bring a jewelry education program to Baldwin High School in New York.
New York—The Natural Diamond Council has partnered with the Black in Jewelry Coalition to launch a jewelry education program for high school students.

The first of its kind, the creators said, the program will be offered at Baldwin High School on Long Island, in Baldwin, New York. It’s set to begin next fall.

The program is designed to train, inspire, and mentor potential talent on jewelry fundamentals.

It will explore each facet of the jewelry industry, from bench to design to retail, educating young people on just how many different kinds of jobs there are available in the industry.

“BIJC takes pride in collaborating with NDC to introduce a high school jewelry program at Baldwin High School,” BIJC President Annie Doresca said.

“Our goal is to inspire students, and foster their passion for the jewelry industry, while addressing the shortage of skilled bench jewelers. Introducing such programs to high school students is a positive direction towards enhancing diversity within the industry and making a meaningful impact.”

Kristina Buckley Kayel, Natural Diamond Council managing director, said the NDC is proud to be partnering with BIJC in 2024.

“We remain committed to the growth and advancement of the jewelry industry, with a firm belief in creating opportunities for diverse students aspiring to enter this field,” she said.

“It is critical we facilitate and expand entry into our legacy industry, where long-term quality careers are possible from design to technology to retail and beyond.”
For the past three years, NDC has offered its Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative (EDDI) program in partnership with Lorraine Schwartz, in which a total of 18 Black, Indigenous, or People of Color  designers received diamond credit and grants, along with mentorship and exposure.

Though EDDI will be paused in 2024 to “ensure optimal support of the [new] initiative,” NDC’s partnership with BIJC is a continuation of the organizations’ collective mission to build a more equitable future for the diamond jewelry industry, Buckley Kayel said.

She added that NDC’s goal is to eventually roll out the program to high schools nationwide. 

 Related stories will be right here … 

“The Baldwin School District is thrilled to launch this innovative partnership with the Natural Diamond Council and Black in Jewelry Coalition,” said Dr. Shari L. Camhi, superintendent of Baldwin Union Free School District.

“Our district is committed to cultivating professional partnerships that will equip our students with the skills necessary to succeed in the future. To be able to launch this jewelry education program at Baldwin High School will open the door to a myriad of opportunities within the jewelry industry. We are humbled by NDC and BIJC’s decision to collaborate with our district and look forward to seeing the program come to fruition.”

The NDC x BIJC program will be part of the Academic Academies Program at Baldwin High School. It will allow students to “connect the classroom to the working world” through professional shadow days, internships, and inter-school, regional, and national competitions, as well as co-curricular activities. 

The goal is to provide students with various learning experiences to ensure they gain the skills and knowledge required to succeed despite the challenges they may face, NDC said.

Lauren McLemoreis the associate editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments.

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