Six high school military cadets from the Maryland School for the Deaf in Frederick, Maryland, visited the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s headquarters in Springfield, Virginia, May 16 to learn how the agency supports the military.
The cadets received an agency overview brief, participated in a video-teleconference with an NGA deaf employee stationed overseas, watched a demo from NGA police officers and their K-9s, and attended a panel with analysts who are deaf or hard of hearing, said David Jones, NGA Analysis Tradecraft Programs staff officer.
The cadets also received an overview of the model of Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, which NGA worked in collaboration with other intelligence agencies to create.
In the past two years, NGA personnel visited the MSD campus twice to educate students about the agency, Jones said.
It is one thing to have presenters come to the Maryland School for the Deaf and present, but it is another thing to visit the campus and interact with employees, said Keith Nolan, a co-instructor for the Deaf Cadet Corps.
“I hope the visit encourages the cadets to consider future tradecraft and careers within the agency,” Nolan said. “From what I have seen, NGA has been terrific to its deaf and hard of hearing employees. By maintaining a relationship between NGA and MSD, we will hopefully see our graduates offer their skills and capabilities to the needs of the NGA in the future.”
Maryland School for the Deaf is a bilingual school in which American Sign Language and English are used.
“It is the only Cadet Corps Program in a school for the deaf in the nation, according to the school’s website,” Jones said “More than 400 deaf and hard of hearing students are enrolled.”
The Maryland School for the Deaf is a part of NGA’s Partners in Education Program. The program demonstrates NGA’s commitment to advancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education in local schools. The program also encourages future employment in the intelligence community, geospatial information fields, national security fields and the federal government.
Agency PIE activities include guest speakers, tutoring, mentoring, career days, science fairs, summer camps, pen pals, GIS fairs and STEM outreach.