Event Highlights California’s Continued Commitment to Cybersecurity Education
Sacramento, Calif. — High school students from across California visited the State Assembly and Senate Aug. 21 to showcase their knowledge for decoding cyber security threats and how they collected and analyzed digital and physical evidence to solve modern-day crimes.
About 30 students traveled to Sacramento to present work completed as part of the CyberPatriot program. The students visited the Capitol at the invitation of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development and the California Cyberhub in recognition of the state’s ongoing pledge to make California a leader in cybersecurity education and workforce training.
Students presented to the Assembly and Senate and took questions from members on how they became interested in cybersecurity, how their knowledge in the field will impact their future careers, and how state legislators can help cybersecurity education reach more students.
The day at the Capitol also included meetings with individual Senators and Assembly Members and with GO-Biz leadership, including Deputy Director for Legislative Affairs, Maricela Gomez, the state’s Small Business Advocate, Jesse Torres and External Affairs Deputy Director Sid Voorakkara, the California Department of Technology Director Amy Tong and California Polytechnic University Cybersecurity Center Director Bill Britton.
Donna Woods of the California Statewide CyberPatriot Program traveled with the students and said she was impressed by the poise and maturity they showed throughout the day.
“I am thrilled and proud of how they served as ambassadors,” Woods said. “It was a great opportunity for them to validate their learning and share their experiences regarding everything they are doing related to cybersecurity.”
Woods serves as Community Manager for the California Cyberhub, which works with government, industry and academia to promote access to cybertraining and cyber competition for students across California. The Cyberhub serves as a neutral one-stop source for best practices, cross institution collaboration and support for those wishing to participate in California’s cyber training efforts.
The trip to the Capitol was funded by the CyberCalifornia coalition, a collection of businesses, state agencies, and educational partners dedicated to reinforcing California’s leadership position in cybersecurity, along with GO-Biz and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The trip was coordinated in partnership with Assembly Members Ed Chau, Jacqui Irwin, and Sharon Quirk-Silva.
GO-BIZ Deputy Director of External Affairs Sid Voorakkara said the organization is fully committed to initiatives that will position California as a cybersecurity leader.
“For California to continue to lead the economy in the innovation sector, we know that cyber and cybersecurity will be front and center in everything from agriculture to autonomous vehicles and digital health,” Voorkkara said.
The Aug. 21 legislative visit continued the momentum generated by the Cyber Innovation Challenge, held June 23-25 at the California Cyber Training Complex in San Luis Obispo. That event brought 16 teams of students together to demonstrate their expertise in cybersecurity, while encouraging students to explore new career pathways in the field.
These efforts will continue with the State of California Cybersecurity Education Summit on Oct. 10. The summit will bring together business leaders, government officials and academics to discuss expanding access to cybersecurity education so California can stay ahead of cyber threats.
GO-Biz serves as the State of California’s leader in job growth and economic development efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including: attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and more.
CyberCalifornia is a cybersecurity initiative focused on educating California businesses about cybersecurity needs and resources, and connecting California’s robust workforce development system with the needs of California employers. CyberCalifornia is organized in conjunction with the Innovation Hub (iHub) Network, a program administered by GO-Biz.
About California Cyberhub
The California Cyberhub is a virtual, neutral, nimble on-line organization that is a collaboration of public higher education, K-12, government, business and military working to enable a future workforce of ethical cybersecurity experts in California.
CyberPatriot the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association (AFA) to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future.
Jose Medina, Chair of Higher Education Committee, California & Assemblymember for 61st Assembly District, (L) Donna Woods, (R) Kassandra Morin.
Jacqui Irwin, Chair of the Select Committee on Cybersecurity, California & Assemblymember for the 44th Assembly District. Next to Jacqui (L to R) Darlene Tarin, Leah Alvarez, Kassandra Morin.