An all-girls AJROTC CyberPatriot team from Canyon Lake High School won first place in the Silver Tier Semifinals of the All Service Division of this year’s CyberPatriot XI competition. This is the first time a CLHS team qualified for the semifinals.
Led by retired Lt. Col. Michael Collyer who is the CLHS JROTC instructor, the team excelled in qualifying rounds of this year’s CyberPatriot XI competition.
“They demonstrated teamwork, critical thinking skills and technical knowledge which are key to a successful career in cybersecurity,” Collyer said.
Team members include CLHS juniors Hanna Byczynski, Catherine Drummond, Jada Rainbolt, Kylana Cline and Katelyn Rourke as well as sophomore Aza’lea Benjamin.
CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program, and it hosts the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition which began in 2009 and was called CyberPatriot I. Subsequent seasons of the competition used Roman Numerals to delineate the year. This year’s season, 2018-2019 is CyberPatriot XI.
The competition puts teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. In the rounds of competition, teams are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems and are tasked with finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the images and hardening the system while maintaining critical services in a six-hour period.
Teams compete for the top placement within their state and region, and the top teams in the nation earn all-expenses paid trips to Baltimore, MD, for the National Finals Competition where they can earn national recognition and scholarship money.
Photo: The AJROTC CyberPatriot team from CLHS which took first place in the Silver Tier Semifinals consists of top row from left: Kylana Cline, Jada Rainbolt, Hanna Byczynski and Katelyn Rourke. Bottom row from left is Aza’lea Benjamin and Catherine Drummond.