Six FCPS Students Recognized in National Cyber Scholar Competition

News
June 04, 2021

Five Fairfax County Public Schools students have earned the title of “National Cyber Scholar” after winning a rigorous 48-hour competition designed to evaluate aptitude in combating cyber threats and showcase the best of what Commonwealth of Virginia schools have to offer. An additional student was named as a finalist. 

  • Darin Mao from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), was named a Scholar with Honors.
  • Aryan Chinnala, Anish Gorentala, Aarush Sivanesan, and Lauren Delwiche, also students at TJHSST, were named Scholars. 
  • Gideon Morrow of South Lakes High School in Reston was named a finalist.

The National Cyber Scholars each won a $2,500 scholarship and an invitation to participate in the Cyber Foundations Academy, a multi-week training and certification course.

The Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) partnered to promote the Commonwealth’s participation in CyberStart America—an innovative, online cybersecurity talent search and competition sponsored by the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation (NCSF) and SANS Institute. 

“I congratulate Virginia’s new National Cyber Scholars for their achievement in this rigorous scholarship competition and for their interest in the increasingly vital field of cybersecurity as a career path,” said James Lane, Virginia’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. “The Commonwealth kick-started interest in this growing field in 2016 by funding 32 cybersecurity summer camps. Since then, the number of cybersecurity courses for students in our career and technical education programs has expanded, as have opportunities for both students and teachers to earn in-demand, industry-recognized credentials in cybersecurity.”

The NCSF calculated that more than 30,000 high school students across the country sought to qualify for this year’s competition, and just 5,000 advanced to the first round. Of those students, only 600 nationwide and 21 in Virginia performed well enough to earn the title “National Cyber Scholars.”

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