Gateway Global: Empowering Youth Through GEOINT Education

GEOINT 2024, Gaylord Palms, Kissimmee, FL

Gateway Global is playing a critical role in the GEOINT talent pipeline and providing opportunities for high school students by introducing them to the discipline’s many potential applications and career paths. 

Zekita Armstrong-Asuquo, Chair and CEO of Gateway Global American Youth and Business Alliance Academies in St. Louis, Mo., gave a presentation this afternoon at GEOINT Foreword that showcased the organization’s transformative work in bridging the gap between education and career opportunities. Gateway Global is a longtime partner of USGIF and to date is the Foundation’s only accredited high school program. 

“Our goal is to generate awareness of the impact and importance of GEOINT and how it is interwoven into every aspect of our daily lives through the technology sector, agriculture and food security, water security, communications, transportation, healthcare, and finance,” Armstrong-Asuquo said.  

Through curriculum development and outreach, Gateway Global has served more than 150 high school students and counting. USGIF collaborates with Gateway Global on its GEOINT USGIF Certificate Program Pathway Examination for high schoolers in St. Louis, East Illinois, and rural communities throughout Missouri. USGIF and Gateway Global aim to expand this high school outreach initiative through partnerships with other non-profits and schools in the hub cities that regularly host the GEOINT Symposium. 

Armstrong-Asuquo was joined by two student alumni from the Gateway Global program, Savanna Degenhardt and Ja’Maury London.  

London shared how he is applying GEOINT to research illegal wildlife trafficking of black rhinos, which are sought after for their horns.  

“I hope I can impact the community, the country, and the world by spreading the word of GEOINT and why it is important,” London said. 

Degenhardt is the youngest individual to pass USGIF’s GEOINT Certificate Program Pathway exam and will participate in an NGA internship this summer before attending Dartmouth College to study geography. 

“The biggest thing I discovered was a passion for geospatial,” she said. “Before the program, I didn’t know geospatial existed.” 

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