SANS Institute and Sinclair Community College Announce NSF-Funded JumpStart into Cyber Summer Program for Underrepresented Students

BETHESDA, MD, May 15, 2023 - The SANS Institute and Sinclair Community College, in collaboration with the National Science Foundation (NSF), proudly unveil the groundbreaking JumpStart into Cyber Summer program. This innovative, two-step cybersecurity journey is specially designed to engage and empower underrepresented student groups, including women, Black, African American, Latino(a), Hispanic, and Indigenous students, providing them with an unparalleled opportunity to excel in cybersecurity education and prepare them for future jobs.

This initiative honors NSF's commitment to attract, retain, and graduate students from diverse backgrounds in cybersecurity advanced degree programs. This collaboration offers a unique opportunity for underrepresented student groups, including those at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs), to gain valuable cybersecurity skills and contribute to a more diverse workforce.

JumpStart into Cyber begins with CyberStart, an online gamified learning platform designed to teach, inspire, and build cybersecurity skills in young people. The top 250 high-performing students in CyberStart will advance to SANS' prestigious SEC275: Foundations training course, the same training taken by industry and Government cyber professionals. Upon completion, students will be equipped to pursue the elite GIAC Foundational Cybersecurity Technologies (GFACT) certification, a highly regarded credential in the cybersecurity industry that validates real-world job skills.

Monisha Bush, SANS Mission Programs and Partnerships Coordinator and a member of the SANS DEIB Task Force, shared, "This initiative is a significant step forward in bridging the equity gap in the cybersecurity industry. By providing an engaging and accessible platform, we hope to inspire a new generation of diverse cybersecurity professionals, with a special emphasis on uplifting communities with limited representation."

Funding for JumpStart into Cyber is provided by the NSF in response to the February 2023 White House Black History Month roundtable, "The State of Cybersecurity in the Black Community." The roundtable, hosted by Acting National Cyber Director Kemba Walden, brought together stakeholders from non-profits, academia, the private sector, government, and community advocates to discuss topics such as job accessibility, small business growth, and economic security for Black communities.

The JumpStart into Cyber application window opened on Friday, May 12th at 9:00am EST and closes on Sunday, June 4th at 11:59pm EST. Students can dive into CyberStart on a rolling basis and participate in the SANS Foundations training from June 20th to July 30th. To unlock your potential and secure your spot in the JumpStart into Cyber program, please visit

About SANS Institute

The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. Today, SANS is the most trusted and, by far, the largest provider of cybersecurity training and certification to professionals in government and commercial institutions worldwide. Renowned SANS instructors teach more than 60 courses at in-person and virtual cybersecurity events and on demand. GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, validates practitioner skills through more than 35 hands-on technical certifications in cybersecurity. The SANS Technology Institute, a regionally accredited independent subsidiary, offers master's and bachelor's degrees, graduate certificates, and an undergraduate certificate in cybersecurity.  SANS Security Awareness, a division of SANS, provides organizations with a complete and comprehensive security awareness solution, enabling them to manage their "human" cybersecurity risk easily and effectively. SANS also delivers a wide variety of free resources to the InfoSec community, including consensus projects, research reports, webcasts, podcasts, 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 support and educate the global information security community.