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Eighteen State Governors Launch "The Governors Cyber Skills Program" to Enable Young Women in Their States to Discover Their Innate Talent for Cybersecurity

400 College Scholarships Available for Those that Excel

Washington, DC: February 25, 2019 - 2019 Winter National Governors Association Meeting, Marriott Marquis Hotel, Washington DC

Who: Governor Abbott (Texas), Governor Northam (Virginia), Governor Hogan (Maryland), Governor Kemp (Georgia), Governor Whitmer (Michigan), Governor Murphy (New Jersey), Governor Reynolds (Iowa), Governor Holcomb (Indiana), Governor Carney (Delaware), Governor Sisolak (Nevada), Governor Hutchinson (Arkansas), Governor Burgum (North Dakota), Governor Ige (Hawaii), Governor Justice (West Virginia), Governor Lamont (Connecticut), and Governor Mills (Maine), Governor Scott (Vermont) in partnership with SANS Institute

(See their individual press release URLs attached)

What: An on-line game enabling high school students to discover their (often hidden) talent for cybersecurity by solving real world cyber problems and win hundreds of thousands of dollars in college scholarships for themselves and prizes for their schools. Girls who do well earn full use of the game for themselves and for 50 more students in their schools for the rest of the school year - including the boys who were very jealous last year.

Why: The nation's severe shortage of technical cybersecurity talent. Many talented students never learn they could be great at it and go into less rewarding and less creative fields. The CyberStart game used in the National Governors' CyberSkills Program was proven by the UK government to enable students to discover their talent.

Women are a big part of the solution, but many have never been adequately encouraged.

"Before I recruited girls to be a part of CyberStart, I struggled to get girls to realize they could be computer scientists. I said --- "Just try it". I now have girls asking our counselor about computer science degrees at our local community college." (Jeff Johnson, Computer Science Teacher, Lee High School, Midland, TX)
"CyberStart is presented in a fun, interactive environment that encourages students to problem-solve, code and learn how Computer Science works. My students loved the challenge. We heard them say, 'I am so smart", "Let me help you.' over and over during the course of the week. It was awesome!" (Cassandra Bryning, Thornton HS, Thornton, CO)

When: Registration opens February 25. Play starts March 20.
Questions about the program: Alan Paller,, 301-520-2835

The Governors' Press Releases







New Jersey



North Dakota




West Virginia




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The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. SANS is the most trusted and, by far, the largest provider of cyber security training and certification to professionals at governments and commercial institutions world-wide. Renowned SANS instructors teach over 60 different courses at more than 200 live cyber security training events as well as online. GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, validates a practitioner’s qualifications via over 35 hands-on, technical certifications in cyber security. The SANS Technology Institute, a regionally accredited independent subsidiary, offers master's degrees in cyber security. SANS offers a myriad of free resources to the InfoSec community including consensus projects, research reports, and newsletters; it also operates the Internet's early warning system–the Internet Storm Center. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners, representing varied global organizations from corporations to universities, working together to help the entire information security community. (