APOPKA, Fla., Aug. 12, 2009 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Laser Systems business unit announced today the seven high school students selected for the pilot year of the Northrop Grumman WORTHY (Worthwhile to Help High School Youth) mentoring scholarship program at the company's Apopka facility. This year's participants are Ebony Fitzgerald from Evans High School; Brandon Singh from Wekiva High School; and Jeffrey Childers, Demetrius Gordon, Kenneth Lord, Melissa Pennington, and Houston McConnell from Apopka High School.
Designed to encourage and advance program participants' pursuit of technical degrees, the WORTHY program provides on-the-job experience and improved access to secondary education.
The students, with the help of their mentors, will be working on individual projects, which will be presented at an event hosted by Northrop Grumman executive staff at the conclusion of the school year. A total of 14 Northrop Grumman employees at the company's Laser Systems campus specializing in business, program management and various engineering disciplines have volunteered to serve as WORTHY program mentors.
"A hands-on approach to learning allows students to retain what they have learned in the classroom and apply those skills to a professional setting," said Gordon Stewart, vice-president and general manager for Northrop Grumman's Laser Systems. "It is our pleasure and responsibility as an employer in this community to assist our students in their pursuit of higher education in engineering and related fields."
Initially launched in 1997 by Northrop Grumman in Baltimore, WORTHY has expanded to include additional company campuses. The Laser Systems facility aims to recruit seven new students each year. To be eligible for the program, rising high school sophomores and juniors must attend a Northrop Grumman-partnered Central Florida public high school or surrounding suburban school, maintain a 3.0+ grade point average (GPA) during the course of the program and have earned a 3.0+ GPA for at least two consecutive semesters prior to applying.
Participants are also required to submit a three-part essay, provide a letter of recommendation from a high school counselor or community leader and be eligible to obtain a U.S. Department of Defense security clearance. Mentors must also apply for and pass a background check.
Northrop Grumman Laser Systems is one of the world's leading manufacturers of military Electro-Optical (EO) targeting systems. These include ground-based (man-portable, handheld, and vehicle mounted) EO imaging/ranging systems for target location, laser designators/markers for precise guidance of smart munitions, and airborne laser rangefinders and designators fielded onboard many of the world's most sophisticated manned and unmanned aircraft.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.
CONTACT: Mark Blackington Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (321) 354-3790 firstname.lastname@example.org