BETHESDA, MD, May 15, 2023 – The SANS Institute and Sinclair Community College, in collaboration with the National Science Foundation (NSF), proudly unveil the groundbreaking JumpStart into Cyber Summer program. This innovative, two-step cybersecurity journey is specially designed to engage and empower underrepresented student groups, including women, Black, African American, Latino(a), Hispanic, and Indigenous students, providing them with an unparalleled opportunity to excel in cybersecurity education and prepare them for future jobs.
This initiative honors NSF’s commitment to attract, retain, and graduate students from diverse backgrounds in cybersecurity advanced degree programs. This collaboration offers a unique opportunity for underrepresented student groups, including those at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs), to gain valuable cybersecurity skills and contribute to a more diverse workforce.
JumpStart into Cyber begins with CyberStart, an online gamified learning platform designed to teach, inspire, and build cybersecurity skills in young people. The top 250 high-performing students in CyberStart will advance to SANS’ prestigious SEC275: Foundations training course, the same training taken by industry and Government cyber professionals. Upon completion, students will be equipped to pursue the elite GIAC Foundational Cybersecurity Technologies (GFACT) certification, a highly regarded credential in the cybersecurity industry that validates real-world job skills.
Monisha Bush, SANS Mission Programs and Partnerships Coordinator and a member of the SANS DEIB Task Force, shared, “This initiative is a significant step forward in bridging the equity gap in the cybersecurity industry. By providing an engaging and accessible platform, we hope to inspire a new generation of diverse cybersecurity professionals, with a special emphasis on uplifting communities with limited representation.”
Funding for JumpStart into Cyber is provided by the NSF in response to the February 2023 White House Black History Month roundtable, “The State of Cybersecurity in the Black Community.” The roundtable, hosted by Acting National Cyber Director Kemba Walden, brought together stakeholders from non-profits, academia, the private sector, government, and community advocates to discuss topics such as job accessibility, small business growth, and economic security for Black communities.
The JumpStart into Cyber application window opened on Friday, May 12th at 9:00am EST and closes on Sunday, June 4th at 11:59pm EST. Students can dive into CyberStart on a rolling basis and participate in the SANS Foundations training from June 20th to July 30th. To unlock your potential and secure your spot in the JumpStart into Cyber program, please visit https://sinclairwfd.regfox.com/cyberstart.