5th Signals Cyber STEM Program Graduates Five
June 25, 2014
WIESBADEN, Germany (June 4, 2014) -- Five new graduates of 5th Signal Command's Cyber STEM Initiative (CSI)-Europe were honored during a graduation ceremony held at 5th Signal Command headquarters.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. CSI-Europe is a mentorship program designed to give high school students in Europe the chance to intern with 5th Signal employees and work on real-world cyber missions and technologies.
"CSI-Europe involves 5th Signal Command partnering with local high schools to help focus on STEM which has been identified as a shortcoming in our schools. It aims to help our nation's youth gain the skills required to succeed in today's challenging world. This includes the ability to think critically, solve complex problems, and drive advancements in STEM," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Daniel Crandall, program manager CSI-Europe, 5th Signal Command.
For the past two years CSI-Europe has mentored students at Wiesbaden High School as part of their Career Practicum Program. By completing the program students earn credits towards graduation. This year, Wiesbaden High School had five students in the program.
Wesley Garnes, Jordan O'Connor, Calvin Serrano, Alex Stephens and Justin Vatcher all successfully completed the program.
"I want to work in some field involving computers," said Stephens. "The CSI program will help me figure out what field interests me the most."
"We've developed a system to help expose each student to as many different aspects of the Information Technology (IT) field as possible, said Crandall. "We have incorporated scenarios that exposed them to elements of programming, web development and IT security."
Each student received a certificate of completion signed by Col. Jimmy L. Hall, Jr., commander, 5th Signal Command, U.S. Army Europe Chief Information Officer/G6 and Command Sgt. Maj. Harry Mercado, senior enlisted advisor, 5th Signal Command who were both in attendance.
"I think it's key to always have a leadership presence, especially in community partnership programs such as this one," said Hall. "It emphasizes the importance of creating worthwhile opportunities for our student citizens."
Hall said he believed the program could incorporate even more students as school and unit enthusiasm grows. He also believes increased student participation would show the positive affect the program has had on the community.
"The program means a lot to families, especially parents," Hall said. "They get a great opportunity to watch their children do something they enjoy. It also allows us to give back to the communities where we live and work."
Hall noted that whether these students choose a career path inside the military or in another sector, this program would give them a head start.
As far as unit enthusiasm, Crandall insists there is no better reward for him than teaching the students within the community.
"It is such a great feeling to be able to impart our knowledge to our younger generation," said Crandall. "But I really like it when you see a light go on, and you realize, they get it!"