Date: January 9th, 2020 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CyberUp to launch youth hacking competition pilot in 2020

CyberUp and Cyber Skyline partner for middle and high school cyber competition initiative

St. Louis, MO – [January 9, 2020]. Since 2016, CyberUp has engaged youth from middle and high schools in the St. Louis area through camps, clubs, and competitions. These activities are designed to introduce students to cybersecurity basics and open their minds to the idea of pursuing a technical career. CyberUp has hosted nine summer camps, ten hacking competitions, and introduced over 7,000 students throughout the metro area to the world of white hat hacking. After wrapping up their 2019 summer camps, CyberUp asked community partners, “How can we serve your students better, and what can we do to support your STEM efforts?”

In response to their feedback, CyberUp will pilot a youth hacking competition with 100 students from multiple school districts and nonprofit partners. Partners include Jennings School District, Urban League, and North/South Tech. Students will compete in monthly hacking challenges from January to May. Volunteers will lead students and teachers to best practices. Our technology partner, Cyber Skyline, provides a safe environment for students to practice their cybersecurity skills. In the youth hacking competitions, students will use the same tools that security professionals use and will be tasked with navigating real-world scenarios. They will learn how to break encrypted messages, identify data breaches, and find weaknesses in computer systems. The skills the students build in the youth hacking competitions will make them invaluable to future employers. “We’re excited to combine our expertise in building practical cybersecurity skills assessments with CyberUp’s experience with youth education and engagement to prepare the next generation of cybersecurity professionals,” says Franz Payer, CEO of Cyber Skyline.

CyberUp will apply lessons learned from the pilot and plan for a national competition launch later in the year. With the help of our teachers, volunteers, technical mentors, and staff we will build world-class hacking competitions. Our program will provide easy on-going access for individuals, teams, and schools to learn cybersecurity. Competitions are the foundation to a robust talent pipeline and the core component to building curriculum, youth apprenticeship, and more. The launch of the pilot is just the beginning. Tony Bryan with CyberUp explains that “St. Louis experienced an increase of 1,100 open cybersecurity roles from 2018 to 2019. Engaging youth is critical to fill those vacancies. We must start garnering interest earlier to grow the entire cybersecurity talent pipeline and meet the hiring needs for companies. Learning through hacking competitions is a terrific way to inspire youth to see cybersecurity as a future career option.”

About CyberUp

CyberUp is a 501c3 nonprofit with a mission is to fill the cybersecurity talent pipeline for today and tomorrow. They accomplish this through their nationally recognized apprenticeship program and recently launched youth hacking competitions. To learn more, visit wecyberup.org, or contact Tony Bryan at tony@wecyberup.org or 314-764-5419.

About Cyber Skyline

Cyber Skyline, is a leading cloud-based cybersecurity skills evaluation platform that helps students and professionals track their skills growth and helps businesses find, identify, and cultivate talent. It is also the technology partner for the National Cyber League. To learn more about Cyber Skyline, visit cyberskyline.com or contact Franz Payer at fpayer@cyberskyline.com or (443) 996-9707.

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