Local High School Students Learn to Be “Ethical Hackers” at SUNY Westchester

Westchester County students participate in free Cybersecurity Summer Camp through grant from National Security Agency.

Photo: SUNY Westchester Community College

SUNY Westchester Community College (SUNY WCC) hosted approximately fifty high school students for a free summer Cybersecurity Camp that exposed them to this fast-growing sector in information technology. The GenCyber Camp was made possible through a grant from the National Security Agency (NSA).

The camp, which ran from July 5-15 at the SUNY WCC main campus in Valhalla, allowed students to learn about computer hacking, manipulation, viruses, metadata and what it is like to be an IT professional in the ever-changing landscape of cybersecurity. SUNY WCC students in the college’s cybersecurity program and faculty mentored and led students in the computer “villages” which were uniquely designed computer challenges designed to engage students in hands-on experiences that will inspire young people to consider future cybersecurity studies and careers.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this exciting opportunity to those high schoolers interested in a field that is so vital to our nation’s security and economy,” said Professor John Watkins, Curriculum Chair of the Cybersecurity program at SUNY WCC. “Our goal is to provide students with a broad skill set to further their education, if they wish. My hope is that they will continue to study cybersecurity at SUNY WCC, one of the few community colleges in the country to be given the Center for Academic Excellence designation in Cyber Defense Education by the US Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency.”

Students at this summer’s GenCyber will attend a post-camp in the fall that builds on the skills learned during the summer. To learn more about GenCyber visit https://www.gen-cyber.com/about/

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