The National Cyber Scholarship Foundation (NCSF) has recognized five Eden Prairie High School (EPHS) students for their outstanding achievement in a challenging online cybersecurity training program.
Seniors Bilal Ahmed and Zachary Kirkeby, and juniors Lisa Thayil, Anjali Marella, and Jasmine Garry were among 12 winners from Minnesota who recently competed against 40,000 other students nationally by solving real-world cybersecurity problems.
As part of the honor, each student has earned an invitation to the Cyber Foundations Academy, a multi-week online program based on the nationally-recognized SANS Foundations training course and certification. The Cyber Foundations Academy training is valued at more than $3,000.
The NCSF’s stated mission is to identify and develop the next generation of cyber professionals, and to encourage students to develop their skills and build a successful career in cybersecurity.
Jessica Brent, a computer science and math teacher at EPHS, said, “We are honored that 40% of the Minnesota NCSF scholars came from EPHS this year. These students are exceptionally motivated, curious, resourceful, and passionate about cybersecurity.”
In addition to taking computer science coursework at EPHS, Kirkeby, Thayil, Garry, and Marella are actively involved in the school’s Computer Science Honor Society. “They tutor, volunteer with elementary schools, organize AP study sessions, and create an inclusive community of comp sci learners where it’s OK to ask lots of questions,” Brent said.
Next year, Kirkeby will attend Purdue University, majoring in computer science focusing on the security track, and Ahmed will attend the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, majoring in computer science.
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