The first U.S. Marine Corps JROTC program in HISD history was announced at a press conference held on Aug. 8, 2013, at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center. The program, which will be launched at the district’s Energized for STEM Academy (E-STEM), is the first to include cadets in grades 6 and 7, allowing students in grades 6 through 12 to participate.
“HISD is only one of six locations across the country with this program,” said U.S. Marine Corps JROTC Program Director William (Bill) E McHenry, who came from Washington D.C., with a check for a million dollars to kick off the program and review JROTC program preparation. “Eventually, we expect to have 1,200 participating students at STEM. Including uniforms, the Marines are actually investing $1.7 million.”
HISD Board of Education member Paula Harris noted that HISD already has a strong JROTC program but having the Marines will strengthen the program. “This adds to the many choices for students at E-STEM,” she said. “On behalf of everyone at HISD, thank you all for making this happen.”
“We are looking forward to having a long relationship with HISD,” added Marine Corps Lt. Col. Mark H. Stroman.
Benefits to students in the Marine Corps JROTC program include character-building, self-discipline, leadership, organizational skills, physical fitness, mentoring and scholarship opportunities, course credit, community service, and an opportunity to participate in local, regional, and national competitions.