JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Jackson partnered with HBCUs in Mississippi for a diversified change.

The FBI wants to recruit more HBCU students across the state. They want to expose students to the work and environment of the agency.

Jermicha Forby, special agent in charge at the Jackson Field Office, said the Beacon Initiative helps provide those experiences to participating students.

“I’m a HBCU graduate, so I stand with HBCU students on gaining more opportunities in advanced fields like this,” said Forby. “The Beacon Initiative is to better serve HBCU students by creating a more diverse and equity space within the FBI office while improving the community outreach.”

Fomby said the project’s success is driven by dispelling some of the biases surrounding the agency and making itself more accessible to underrepresented communities.

“The first phase of the Beacon initiative is engaging with historically Black universities and colleges to help drive that. We recognize the high level of talent that comes from HBCUs. Also, there’s another level of diverse experience that we think is very significant to what we think the organization needs,” he explained.

Participating students have the opportunity to not just work with federal agents but also connect with other positions within the field, including computer scientists, technicians, and accountants.

The FBI has partnered with Jackson State University (JSU), Mississippi Valley State (MVSU), Tougaloo College, Hinds Community College, and Rust College. JSU has at least 130 participating scholars enrolled in the program.

“We are so excited about continuing a great thing for these students in the community,” said Forby.

The FBI also has a Teen Academy for children ages 13 to 17.