JENNINGS, MO. (KMOX) – The Jennings “STEM” team is still on cloud 9 after attending the National Academy Foundation event in New York.
Dr. Tiffany Anderson, who is credited with helping the district regain accreditation, left for Topeka, Kansas last year. Since Dr. McCoy was selected, corporate partners have donated over $1.1 million dollars to the district to fund field trips designed to inspire the students.
Not only did the four students get to see the big apple, including the United Nations and Times Square, but they got to present their ideas to a room full of CEOs and corporate executives, including the Board Chair of American Express. Taj Robinson, a Junior at Jennings High School is an html webmaster and Project Lead the Way engineer. One experience that sticks with him is meeting a 17-year-old CEO.
“I think there’s always a limit to how far others can raise your bar, and then there’s no limit to how much you can raise it yourself. So when I saw the kid, and I thought, that could be any one of us, and it’s not like back when the founders of America were like CEOs and they had to blood, sweat and tears it all the way up. You can use your imagination and the wide amount of technology we have today and it’s just one step away from becoming something big and something amazing. So for me to see that you can be so young and be so successful, it raised my own bar,” he says.
World Wide Technology funded the trip. Jennings superintendent Dr. Art McCoy says the students performed so well in front of the executives, the results speak for themselves.
“Each of those businesses have made a commitment to our students to give them preferential hires, scholarships for college, as well as all of Jennings’ students will have a paid internship before they complete high school,” he says.
McCoy says higher student grades in math are reflective of the investment by teachers and corporate partners. Jennings is now the first National Academy school in the St. Louis metro area with four certified academies in health sciences, IT, engineering and finance.