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Clark, Warren receive Air Force Junior ROTC Cyber Academy Scholarship

MADISON – Brandon Clark and Abigail Warren, cadets in Air Force Junior ROTC at Bob Jones High School, have received scholarships for the inaugural JROTC-CS Cyber Academy.

The initiative’s objective is to build the next generation of cybersecurity talent. The academy allows cadets to experience the JROTC-CS Demonstration Project, a public-private partnership that will develop evidence-based computer science and cybersecurity education. Access to the training will be open to approximately 545,000 youth in JROTC.

Sponsors for the academy are Air Force Junior ROTC, CSforALL, Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University and the National Cybersecurity Training and Education Center at Whatcom Community College, Dr. Maj. Melissa M. Lacey said. Lacey works at Bob Jones as Senior Aerospace Science Instructor.

Clark and Warren are among 25 cadets nationwide who received the scholarships in a competitive process for the 30 JROTC host schools. Bob Jones is among 30 schools and Air Force JROTC units participating in the project. The academy opened on June 1 and will run until July 31.

Cadets who complete the academy will earn three college credits from Mississippi State and gain preparation for the COMPTIA IT Fundamentals certification exam. The value of each Cyber Academy scholarship is $8,000, and cadets will have opportunities for up to $10,000 in enlistment bonuses and collegiate scholarships.

During the cyber academy, cadets will engage in state-of-the-art computing and cybersecurity with supervision of instructors from Mississippi State and Whatcom. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program will be delivered remotely, and each cadet will be equipped with a cyber workstation including a laptop computer, gaming headset and additional tools for the program. Capital One is supporting the equipment needs.

Cadets will work in small collaborative teams that MSU students will lead and Air Force technical mentors will support. The cadets will participate in weekly career conversations with high-level industry professionals.

“Headquarters AFJROTC is excited about this initiative and for each of our cadets selected,” Col. Stephen T. Sanders, headquarters director, said. “This program embodies the purpose and vision of the AFJROTC mission — developing young citizens. Whether our cadets have military or civilian careers in mind, we are preparing them for the future.”

For more information, visit csforall.org/projects_and_programs/jrotc.

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