Middle and highschool students in Richmond and Columbia County are paving the way for cyber in the state.
Today those students put their fingers to the keyboard at the Georgia Cyber Center to capture the flag.
Eighth grader, Leland Green, says, “in the middle school division, we are ranked first in the state of Georgia and eighth nationally right now.”
Madison Sprouse is also in eighth grade.
“This is our first like all girls team that is actually in third place in Georgia right now,” says Sprouse.
They are amongst 165 students who, for the first time ever, are turning their faces to the screen, fingers to the keyboard, and coding their way through capture the flag.
Directory of Cyber Operations for Parsons, Thomas Barnes, says, “the fun part is just seeing their passion because you know they haven’t really learned to temper it yet, you can tell that they love doing what they’re doing.”
AFCEA International is hosting the two-day conference to get more people into the career field.
“We need to get these kids started early, get their passion going, so we can cultivate that as they move through college and then we can recruit them out,” says Barnes.
Luckily, for Barnes, there is a bright future.
Sprouse and Green are both hoping to join the want to join the Cyber workforce after graduating college.
“Preferably, I want to be a cyber security analyst or a penetration tester,” says Green.
Green is taking every opportunity to refine his skills.
“I know that we are going to work with Kali Linux which is a main kind of penetration testing software and operating system,” says Green, “and I’m really excited to learn about that and kind of build on what I need to know for my career.”
And the best part? They get to work together!
“Working with a team is very beneficial because you get everybody’s diverse ideas instead of just having your eyes see it,” says Green.
Sprouse says, “it’s fun having the all girls team because we’re like, female power!”
The top 3 teams go to the certs 2020 conference at the Marriott hotel to collect their awards.