Cross High School receives Multi-Awarded grant for Gender-Minority Inclusion Initiative

Pictured left to right are Shawn Simmons, Juan Mendez-Arciniega, Santory Jones, Gary Dent, Essence Ronjon, M.B. Smith, Cameron White, Kathy Lawson, Javier Morales-Arciniega, Seated- Kaylee Viars

Inspired by a vision to promote inclusion, exposure and diversified representation, Cross High School Academy Coach, M.B. Smith, said she was inspired to act.

She, along with assisting faculty, created a platform to further the tradition of academic excellence for the rural area Berkeley County School.

Pioneering such efforts, Smith and her two assisting faculty members created the Mighty Trojan Robotics Team. As this program was a new innovation to an already established legacy of superior academic traditions, Smith sought to capitalize on the engineering talents of the minority segmented population at Cross High School.

With a specific focus on diversity and gender-minority inclusion, Cross High School has lead both trendsetting and experimental efforts to further minority representation in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (S.T.E.M.).

Cross High School Principal, A.N. Pressley, has provided the support and school based resources to promote the efforts of Smith and her team.

Cross High Assistant Principal and former robotics coach, L.B. Simmons, has also extended unwavering support for the Gender-Minority Inclusion Initiatives now being promoted within Cross High School, according to program organizers.

The school was recently awarded in the months of November and December more than $20,000 in professional grants and sponsorship.

Volvo has pledged a $10,000 commitment, Google has pledged an $11,760 commitment and Berkeley Electric Co-Op has pledged a $1,000 commitment all three for the expansion of the Cross High Robotics Team and the furthering of gender-minority inclusion efforts in the STEM areas.

The team has already competed in several local competitions and received supplemental assistance from both Google and SPAWAR to further these efforts for both gender and minority inclusion within the sciences.