Lai named a ‘National Cyber Scholar’

3 years ago

The National Cyber Scholarship Foundation has named two Maine students, “National Cyber Scholars” after winning a rigorous 48-hour competition designed to evaluate aptitude in combating cyber threats, showcasing the advanced programming available in Maine schools.

The Maine National Cyber Scholars are Vealy Lai of the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone and Dena Arrison of Freeport High School.

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 nationwide performed well enough to earn the title “National Cyber Scholars.” These students each won a $2,500 scholarship and an invitation to participate in the Cyber Foundations Academy, a multi-week training and certification course.

 Cybersecurity is a critical issue facing this country with the potential to impact our nation’s government, defense, communications and financial systems. According to recent studies, in order to properly defend our infrastructure from attack, we need to train more than 3 million cybersecurity professionals. This scholarship and competition are designed to attract and incentivize more students to enter the field.

“Congratulations to Dena and Vealy for this incredible honor! We are so proud of all the students that participated in this competition, and grateful for the schools who prepare, encourage, and support students in pursuing opportunities like this,” said Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin. “Our state education system continues to make strides that allow us to adapt and prioritize the ever-changing advances in technology, including laying the foundational groundwork for a robust cyber security workforce here in Maine.”

 “This scholarship recognizes high school students who have demonstrated exceptional cybersecurity talent,” noted David Brown, executive director, National Cyber Scholarship Foundation. “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, a free online program that helps students discover their interest in cybersecurity and develop their talent and skills. The NCSC 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: National Cyber Scholarship Foundation.