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Cadets graduate inaugural Air Force Junior ROTC Cyber Academy

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --

The first class of cadets graduated from the inaugural Air Force Junior ROTC Cyber Academy, Aug. 5, 2020.

At the academy, which was held virtually, the 24 graduating cadets built skills in state-of-the-art computing and cybersecurity under the supervision of instructors from Mississippi State University and the Whatcom Community College’s Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense.

The Cyber Academy is one part of a partnership between AFJROTC and CSforALL to increase the number of high schools with advanced placement computer science. The cadets, juniors and seniors, each earned three college credits from Mississippi State University and prepared for the COMPTIA IT Fundamentals certification exam. The value of the AFJROTC Cyber Academy scholarship is $8,000.

Specifically, the scholarship provides an incentive for AFJROTC cadets to become involved in computer science activities and classes to make them more competitive for the scholarship opportunity.  AFJROTC’s goal is to grow talent and workforce development to ensure AFJROTC cadets are competitive for college or technical career choices.

“The Cyber Academy demonstrates our youth’s thirst for knowledge that will continue to build our nation’s future in an innovative and secure way,” said Brig. Gen. Leslie Maher, in a virtual address to the graduates. She is the commander of the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development, the parent organization for AFJROTC. “These 24 are indicative of the immense talent we, as a nation, must continue to cultivate to remain the world’s leader in cyber technology, security and exploitation. I am humbled to have been a part of this experience.”

Students also received a pre-recorded congratulatory message from Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett.

Graduates of the Cyber Academy are:

Joy Adair, Aberdeen High School, Aberdeen, Miss.
Brandon Clark, Bob Jones High School, Madison, Ala.
Edwin Cruz, Bloomingdale Senior High School, Brandon, Fla.
Makayla Davis, Aberdeen High School, Aberdeen, Miss.
Joshua Doud, Edmond North High School, Edmond, Okla.
Trelas Dyson IV, Shadow Ridge High School, North Las Vegas, Nev.
Grace Fyke, Howell High school, Howell, Mich.
Devin Hopkins, North East High School, Oakland Park, Fla.
Camille Kaiser, Utah Military Academy, Syracuse, Utah
Brendan Lee, Utah Military Academy, West Haven, Utah
Jason Loretz, Prattville High School, Prattville, Ala.
Katelyn Lynch, Northeast High School, Oakland Park, Fla.
Jamesly Metayer, Northeast High School, North Lauderdale, Fla.
Philip Nance, Washington Liberty, Arlington, Va.
Ashlyn Preston, Choctawhatchee High School, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
Zoe Racz, Choctawhatchee High School, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
Nicholas Ramdhan, Harry S. Truman High School, Bronx, N.Y.
Naomy Rodríguez, John Bowne High School, Flushing, N.Y.
Noah Sparks, Shadow Ridge High School, Las Vegas, Nev.
Daniel Torres, Santiago High School, Corona, Calif.
Louis Tran, Edmond North High School, Edmond, Okla.
Olivia Vernon, Edmond North High School, Edmond, Okla.
Abigail Warren, Bob Jones High School, Madison, Ala.
Logan Williamson, Dobyns-Bennett High School, Kingsport, Tenn.

“We are thrilled this inaugural program was so successful and impressed with the cadets, mentors and instructors for their dedication and commitment,” said Ruthe Farmer, chief evangelist, CSforALL “Now that we’ve proven the model, we are looking forward to scaling up this opportunity to serve JROTC cadets across the country.”

Air Force JROTC currently operates in almost 900 high schools with more than 120,000 cadets. 

The Air Force Junior ROTC Cyber Academy is the capstone experience of the JROTC-CS Demonstration Project.  The Project supports the goals of the PROMOTES Act of 2020. At scale, this program model has the potential to engage more than 545,000 high school students in computer science and cybersecurity education pathways, as well as build technology education capacity at over 3,400 JROTC high schools, serving 4 million students overall.

The Project is public-private partnership led by CSforALL in collaboration with JROTC-CS Advisory Consortium Members, including Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot;  Air Force Junior ROTC; Capital One; Google; Intel Corporation; Lockheed Martin; Microsoft; Mississippi State University; National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education; National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center; SANS Institute; Snap Inc.; The College Board; and The Internet Institute.

For more information, visit https://www.csforall.org/projects_and_programs/jrotc/

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