By Mike Kruzman /

A local ROTC Cadet has been chosen as 1 of only 25 students in the country to take part in a new cyber academy program.

Howell High School Junior Grace Fyke will participate with 24 other Air Force JROTC cadets across the country in the inaugural Air Force Junior ROTC Cyber Academy. This academy, according to a release from Howell Public Schools, is said to be the capstone experience of the JROTC CS Demonstration project, which is a public-private partnership aimed at building a model to provide evidence-based computer science and cybersecurity education access to the over half-million youth members of the JROTC.

During the academy, Fyke will build skills in state-of-the-art computing and cybersecurity under the supervision of instructors from Mississippi State University and the Whatcom Community College’s Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense. Due to COVID-19, the program will be run online. Fyke will be equipped with a cyber workstation that includes a laptop, gaming headset, and additional tools needed to fully engage the program. She will work in small collaborative teams led by Mississippi State students and supported by technical mentors from the Air Force. Upon completion, Fyke will earn 3 credits from Mississippi State and have the chance to sit for the COMPTIA IT Fundamentals certification exam.

The value of the scholarship for participating in this Cyber Academy program is $8,000.