PREP Alumni, Armon Jefferies, one of less than 50 students worldwide accepted to prestigious NATO military diplomacy program

All it took was a mock election in his grade 6th class for Armon Jefferies, of Halifax’s North End, to know a career in politics and law would be in his path. Now a second-year Political Science major at Saint Mary’s University, Armon is one of less than 50 students selected this year into the NATO Field School and Simulation Program, an intensive political science program based in Latvia, Italy, and Belgium.

 

“I’ll get to learn about the political processes that drive military decisions and diplomacy and how that looks in different countries,” says Armon, who is also a member of the Canadian Armed Forces. ‘I would love to stay in the military, ideally as a legal officer in the future, so I can practice military law.”

“To be a legal officer is a very specialized field that I can ideally come to influence in my career. There is a lack of Black people represented anywhere in the military, and especially in this field.”

Helping make Armon’s transition from Citadel High School to university in 2022 smoother, was the PREP Academy, which launched in April 2021 to inspire and prepare African Nova Scotian students for postsecondary education and beyond. According to Armon, PREP equipped him with the unwritten rules of university and access to career mentors and culturally-informed supports.

“They were able to help me find scholarships, prepare my statement of interest letters, and navigate how to advocate for myself with professors. It meant a lot, but learning it directly from peers in the Black community meant even more because it made things relatable,” says Armon.

“Now that I’m in university and see the lack of African Nova Scotian students, having a group like PREP who reinforces we belong in these spaces is incredibly refreshing.”

Ashley Hill, Founder & Executive Director of the PREP Academy, is eager to see Armon embark on NATO’s world-class experience in the spring. “It’s important that we continue to follow and advocate for PREP Alumni after they enter college or university to guide them to maximize their success and experiences. This is just the start for Armon,” she says.

“Especially since Armon’s never left Canada, I am excited he has the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the world,” says Ashley. “He’ll get to connect with like-minded peers on a global scale and enrich his knowledge in an area that he can then influence as a leader back home in Nova Scotia.”

 

Armon was accepted into the NATO Field School and Simulation Program in late January 2024 with a glowing recommendation from his academic department head. He is looking forward to embarking on the program in May. The program will equate to 12 fourth-year credits but students are expected to need upwards of $15,000 to fully take part, which is a lot for a student to source. Those interested in sponsoring Armon’s journey are encouraged to reach out to Armon directly at: armon.jefferies@smu.ca.

 

ABOUT The PREP Academy

The PREP Academy is a community-based non-profit organization that inspires and prepares African Nova Scotian students for college, university, and beyond. PREP coaches students in grades 10, 11, and 12 to plan, prepare, and pursue college and university—and continue to provide wraparound support as students navigate their entry into and throughout their education and onto their chosen careers. Learn more about The PREP Academy at www.theprepacademy.ca.

 

ABOUT The NATO Field School and Simulation Program
The NATO Field School and Simulation Program is an intensive political science experience that combines coursework with experiential learning. It is open to students from all NATO nations and allows them to be immersed in the decisions that political, diplomatic, and military personnel face. This includes visits across Europe, including NATO HQ, SHAPE, the European External Action Services, and the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence. Students will have the opportunity to develop and test their skills through negotiation and decision-making simulations with mentorship from senior officials and diplomats. Students are prepared for entry-level employment in foreign affairs, defence policy, and various national and international security sectors, as well as international NGO sectors.

 

For more information contact: 

Ashley Hill, Founder and Executive Director

The PREP Academy

ashley@theprepacademy.ca 

902.334.6260

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