These kids are using their summer vacation to learn about cyber threats

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Monday, June 10, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) – Summer has kicked off for the kids, but that doesn’t mean the learning stops.

Fifty students spent today at the Georgia Cyber Center, getting a sneak peek at what a career in cybersecurity looks like.

Cyber security caught Jacob May's attention when he heard the salary.

“I've always wanted to live a more comfortable life than your average city boy,” May said.

May chose to start studying it as a freshman at the Richmond County Technical Career Magnet School. Then he joined the Cyber Patriot Team.

“Since I was already in the cyber program, I figured this was one of the ways I could learn more about cyber to kind of help me in my studies further on,” May said.

The team at RCTMS is one of more than 100 Cyber Patriot Teams across the area.

“These kids gather after school like a football team and they practice defending networks,” said Dr. Tom Clark, executive director for the Alliance for Fort Gordon.

This week, May is at the Cyber Patriot Camp. It's the first one in Augusta, giving middle and high school students a look at cybersecurity.

“We've been learning about cyberbullying, why it’s not okay, and of course it’s not, and computer technology and stuff,” said Trinity Gilchrist.

“They have to recognize that it's something they are interested in and that's start with the exposure and the awareness,” Nicole Cliff, the cybersecurity program manager for the Georgia Cyber Center, said.

They hope students like May and Gilchrist will choose cybersecurity as a career.

“Cyber Patriots are young men and women that we're growing to fill this workforce need, we're hoping they get excited when they're in there defending networks, they're doing labs, talking about firewalls,” Cliff said.

And the best part is that it’s all right here in Augusta.

Students like May don't have to leave town to get a cybersecurity education, and hopefully a job.

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