Students at LeFlore High School will have new opportunities to explore career pathways in Public Safety, thanks to a partnership between Mobile County Public Schools and the Mobile Police and Fire and Rescue Departments.
Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste and Mobile Fire Chief Mark Sealy joined MCPSS Superintendent Martha Peek on Monday in signing a Memorandum of Understanding to create a Public Safety program at LeFlore. The program, which will be introduced through LeFlore’s JROTC program, includes two potential pathways: Public Safety, and Fire and Rescue.
“This is an exciting day,” Peek said. “It emphasizes what can take place when the city, the county and the school system all work together and invest in our future through our most valuable resource, our students.”
All freshmen at LeFlore are required to take a JROTC course. Students in these classes will be introduced to both public safety tracks and can ultimately select one to follow through the rest of their high school career. System officials are hopeful that, with enough student interest, these pathways will ultimately be expanded into a Public Safety academy.
LeFlore currently has Signature Academy pathways in Pre-Law and Healthcare.
“I think it is very, very important that our students understand that not only do the adults in this building care for them and care about their future and what it is they desire to pursue, but also those in government and the adults in this community,” LeFlore Principal William Henderson said.
The new program will give students an opportunity to learn about careers in police work and fire and rescue, and what it takes to pursue them, from police officers and firefighters themselves. Under a full pathway, students could ultimately be prepared to enter the Police Academy or gain Emergency Medical Technician certification that would allow them to pursue a career as a firefighter or EMT.
“What we try to do on a daily basis is reach into our community and give back to our community. I can’t think of a better way to give back,” Mobile Fire Chief Mark Sealy said. “Walking in, I saw so many bright, young faces eager for opportunity. I know that’s what life is about – opportunity. We want to make sure we give these children every opportunity they can possibly have to be successful.”
“What I see today is another chapter of us expanding our relationships and how we can increase programs that we have in our community,” added Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste. “I can tell you the most exciting thing for me today is that when I got out of my car out front, members of the JROTC were out front and they greeted me and escorted me in — the smiles on their face, the fact that they snapped to as people entered doors, that’s amazing. That gives me optimism that there are opportunities here and there are people here looking for those opportunities.
“Hopefully the pathway we talk about won’t just translate to what happens in the classroom, but it will translate to jobs and opportunities for young people to have careers here in our community and give back in a way that we know they all want to do.”