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Cyber News Now: Camps teach CSRA students cybersecurity skills

Saturday, June 25th 2022, 5:43 PM EDT

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - For the first time in two years, the CyberPatriot camp returned to the Georgia Cyber Center. The Fort Gordon Alliance for Cyber Education teamed up with the Boys and Girls Club of Augusta to make it happen.

Cybersecurity can be for anybody, even for 80 middle and high schools. At least, that's the goal at the CyberPatriot camp.

"There are so many different things we do in what we call cyber. They probably will find something very enjoyable and a path for them and that’s what I want to expose.” said Dave Besel, NSA Cybersecurity Practitioner. 

Organizers say it’s a great learning opportunity for an even greater need.

"We want to be the cyber capitol of the south, and we are thousands and thousands of people short in the cyber arena. So, if we can grow them here, it’s a high paying job, it helps the economy, it helps everybody.” said Tom Clark, Alliance for Fort Gordon Executive Director.

Students got the chance to hear from the experts and try techniques on their own. For one of the students, it was a fun and eye-opening experience.

"I like the activities when we go into the VM and we get to like move around and kind of just see what’s what and how everything works. It’s definitely helpful to know your way around the computer, know what you’re doing and know what’s what.” said Kaleyah Turmon, Davidson Fine Arts Student.

NSA instructor Dave Besel says he’s also noticed interest in the community.

“We’re starting to see some of the schools which are adding a full year’s worth at least of curriculum so it’s a day in day out thing for some of these students." said Besel.

While the ultimate goal is workforce growth, Besel says another is camp expansion. 

“I’d like to have more volunteers out here so we can do this in numbers and offer this more throughout the summer.”

Augusta University also put on a camp called GenCyber. There, rising high school juniors and seniors learned about several topics. Some of those included cryptography, cryptanalysis, python programming and robotics. This event also happened inside the Georgia Cyber Center.

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