Area students receive scholarships from cyber security competition

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — The National Cyber Scholarship Foundation has awarded 63 New Jersey high school students with the coveted “National Cyber Scholar” designation following its 48-hour National Cyber Scholarship competition. The annual nationwide event for high school students is designed to evaluate aptitude in combating cyber threats and encourage them to become part of the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. Juniors and seniors named National Cyber Scholars qualify for scholarships and training opportunities. This year, 91 New Jersey students garnered more than $432,500 in funding.

“This competition highlights the immense talent we have in New Jersey, and we are proud of all of those who participated and had their efforts recognized at the national level,” said Jared M. Maples, director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. “The passion for cybersecurity exemplified by these young individuals gives us hope that the safety and security of New Jersey and the nation will remain in capable hands in the future.”

New Jersey produced five times as many NCS Scholars as states of similar population size, such as Virginia and Maryland, and was on par with much larger states, like Texas and California. Four New Jersey students who finished the competition in the top 30 earned the highest distinction of “Scholar with Honors” and each received a $3,000 college scholarship. Another 59 New Jersey students were named “Scholars” and each received a $2,500 college scholarship. For the 28 highest-scoring freshmen and sophomores not eligible for scholarships, NCSF awarded the “Finalist” status. All winning students were invited to participate in this summer’s Cyber Foundations Academy, a multiweek training and certification course worth $3,000.

“I am thrilled with the performance of our students,” said Michael Geraghty, director of the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell. “Not only does the NJCCIC focus on making New Jersey more resilient to cyber attacks today, but we also put a lot of effort into working with educators to inspire and train our next generation of cybersecurity professionals.”

New Jersey has four scholars with honors, 59 scholars, 28 finalists and 498 semifinalists. Among them are:

  • Scholars: Montclair High School’s Cassandra Youn; and Livingston High School’s Rachelle Hu and Shourya Bansal.
  • Finalists: East Orange STEM Academy’s Daniella Barron.