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California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #21-45
June 4, 2021
Contact: Communications
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

Seventy High School Students Named “National Cyber Scholars” After Winning Nationwide Competition to Identify Rising Stars in this Critical Sector

SACRAMENTO—According to the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation External link opens in new window or tab., 70 of California’s most promising high school students have earned the coveted title of “National Cyber Scholar” after winning a rigorous 48-hour competition designed to evaluate aptitude in combating cyber threats and showcasing the best of what California’s schools have to offer.

Over 30,000 high school students across the country sought to qualify for this year’s competition, and only 5,000 advanced to the first round. Of those students, only 600 in the country performed well enough to earn the title “National Cyber Scholar,” an honor that includes a $2,500 scholarship and an invitation to participate in the Cyber Foundations Academy, a multi-week training and certification course.

“It is exciting to see students thinking critically to address real-world challenges that have potential impacts on our government, defense, financial institutions, and critical infrastructure,” stated State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. “Twenty-first century education means that we are focused on preparing students for college and the careers of the future. Students in this competition must assume the role of cyber experts to solve computer security problems and/or capture and defend computer systems through simulations. Through their outstanding performance, California students earned more than $385,000 in scholarships and training combined.”

“This scholarship recognizes high school students who have demonstrated exceptional cybersecurity talent,” noted David Brown, executive director of the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation (NCSF). “The NCSF mission is to help close the critical cybersecurity skills gap by identifying and developing 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.”

There are several qualification pathways for the National Cyber Scholarship Competition, including CyberStart America External link opens in new window or tab., a free online program that helps students discover their interest in cybersecurity and develop their talent and skills. The NCSF offers 600 college scholarships to top-ranking competitors. Additionally, National Cyber Scholars, along with the competition’s 1,000 finalists, are invited to participate in the Cyber Foundations Academy. To learn more, visit the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation website External link opens in new window or tab..

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Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Friday, June 4, 2021
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