On June 1, 2022, seven sophomores in the cybersecurity pathway at Albemarle County Public School's Center I were named Finalists by the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation (NCSF) for their performance in a challenging online cybersecurity training program: Wilber Constanza-Hernandez, Felicity Craig, Tristen Faison, Alexei Gall, Diena Kaba, Becker Lucas, and Deepesh Magar for outstanding achievement.
“It’s an amazing accomplishment for several first year cybersecurity students, as the challenges increase in difficulty as they progressed through the levels,” says Center I’s Cybersecurity teacher Heather Schmidt. “My students learned about web vulnerabilities, scripting, encryption, and social engineering by working together, applying newly developed skills, and honing their web search techniques. This group went above and beyond expectations, and my heart is filled with pride and excitement for what we can accomplish in the upcoming school year.”
Center I’s students competed for a top score against thousands of high school students across the nation by solving real-world cybersecurity problems. Over 45,000 students nationwide sought to qualify for a National Cyber Scholarship. The top 2,325 scores earned the rank of Finalist, a feat accomplished by only 219 students in the commonwealth of Virginia.
“The National Cyber Scholarship Foundation recognizes high school students who have demonstrated exceptional cybersecurity prowess and who wish to pursue a career in a growing field in critical need of their talent,” notes David Brown, executive director, National Cyber Scholarship Foundation. “The NCSF mission is to identify and develop the next generation of cyber professionals. Each and every student who participated in this competition has the potential to develop their skills and build a successful career in cybersecurity.”
About the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation (NCSF):
The National Cyber Scholarship Foundation is a national nonprofit whose mission is to identify, nurture, and empower the next generation of cybersecurity experts; and eliminate the cybersecurity skills gap in the United States. NCSF aims to support the entry of thousands of talented students into the cybersecurity industry by providing enrichment opportunities, world-class training, and scholarships to fund further study.
About CyberStart America:
CyberStart America is a free national program for high school students, aiming to uncover hidden cyber talents, and identify and develop the next generation of cyber superstars. CyberStart’s immersive gamified learning platform can take students from zero cybersecurity knowledge to possessing the skills necessary to complete a wide variety of realistic cybersecurity challenges and earn a scholarship in a matter of weeks. Students new to the field with a strong aptitude, as well as students with existing interest in the field, can use the platform to train and qualify as a National Cyber Scholar, giving them the opportunity to earn life-changing scholarship opportunities.