It is a special year for all involved in the Leadership Lawton Fort Sill community as they celebrate 25 years of excellence. The members of the silver anniversary class seek to set the bar high with a project they have no doubt will leave a lasting legacy on the Lawton Fort Sill community.

Leadership Lawton-Fort Sill Class 25 is devoting their efforts to raising funds for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education within Lawton Public Schools.

The STEM program, a part of NMSI (National Math and Science Initiative), has been very successful in our community within the past five years. Eisenhower High School was named national STEM school of the year in 2013, and the City of Lawton was deemed Oklahoma's "STEM City" by the Oklahoma Secretary of State in June 2014. While momentum is here, LLFS Class XXV will continue this success by bridging the gap and filling the funding holes that exist for the upcoming 2015-2016 school year.

STEM education is vital for our future generations. Our world is rapidly evolving into an age of technology, almost at a speed that will surpass the knowledge of those who implemented it. STEM education is the root to building a young and ready future workforce who can continue advancing our community’s industry, engineering and technology into the future.

“For Lawton-Fort Sill, it is a continuing cycle of economic development that starts now,” said Andrew Duffy, LLFS Class XXV spokesperson. He said funding the STEM program helps the students through all phases of their high school education; We educate our young students within Lawton Public Schools; They continue by taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses at the secondary education level; They graduate high school with college credit and continue their education at a collegiate level at Cameron University or Great Plains Tech Center; They graduate one of these schools with a STEM related degree; They begin a working career in STEM-related fields in the same city they were trained and; Industry begins moving into the Lawton-Fort Sill area knowing there is a well-trained and ready workforce. “The end result is more jobs and economic growth for the Lawton-Fort Sill Community,” Duffy said.

Duffy says Leadership Lawton Fort Sill Class XXV is seeking to raise $58,500 in order to fund the areas most needed by Lawton Public Schools to sustain the STEM program for the next school year. Those areas include: Saturday learning sessions, Teacher and student award incentives, and technology incentives.

LLFS XXV asks the entire community to help them achieve their goal. This is a project that starts at the ground level with the students, but has major enrichment impacts on the entire community.

For those interested in donating, Leadership Lawton-Fort Sill has set up an online GoFundMe account, whereby all funds will be distributed to the Lawton Public Schools Foundation at conclusion of the LLFS class term in July. You can donate at GoFundMe.com/LawtonSTEM

Other fundraisers include a wine tasting event, a robotics and gaming exhibition, spaghetti dinner in May, a golf tournament in June, and multiple restaurant profit sharing events scheduled throughout the next few months.

For updates on their fundraising events you can LIKE them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.