The central Florida teen made headlines after being arrested for igniting a chemical explosion on school grounds back in April. On Wednesday, authorities said Kiera would not face criminal charges based on facts and circumstances of the case, her lack of criminal history and the action taken by the Polk County School Board.
While Kiera has agreed to complete a diversion program, she has reportedly been offered a scholarship by Hickam to attend ASA in Huntsville, Ala. The college-accredited program is put on by the University of Alabama that includes STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education plus college and career preparation.
“Kiera is a bright, imaginative young lady who loves science, technology, engineering and math – and she also loves music and art,” said Marie Wilmot, Kiera’s mother. “In today’s terminology, they would refer to it as STEAM, which is the STEM field with the arts added in. Kiera joined her middle school Robotics Team, which is where her love of robotics began.”
She continued, “She is very excited at this opportunity and is intrigued by Mr. Hickam’s story. We have ordered the movie October Sky and will be checking out his books. She would like to speak with Mr. Hickam and would like to meet him in person someday.”
Hickam, writer of Rocket Boys, says he’s just as excited to see Kiera join a team of like-minded students at the academy.
“I think she will feel right at home because she will be with other students just like her who are intensely interested in science and space.” he said.
Hickam is also working to raise scholarship funds for Kiera’s twin sister Kayla so that both young women can attend the program together.