HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) and the Mobile County Public School System (MCPSS) received a $6,000,000 grant for their STEM Leadership Academy partnership.

The grant will allow MCPSS to expand the JROTC STEM Leadership Academy as a Junior Cadet Leadership Challenge. Leaders said this will impact 5,000 cadets, 350 cadre and 275 STEM teachers.

“My main goal from the start of this effort has been to demonstrate to high school students that they have the potential to work in STEM related career fields and to show them a pathway towards achieving that objective,” said Director of the Center for STEM Education Dr. Julie Cwikla.

The goal of the expansion is to meet the need for high quality STEM workers. The academies will focus on supporting the maritime, advanced manufacturing and aviation industries.