UWF in the Community

UWF hosts GenCyber Cybersecurity camp for Girl Scouts

The University of West Florida Center for Cybersecurity gave Cadette Girl Scouts a unique opportunity to earn three badges while exploring the field of cybersecurity through one of its GenCyber summer camps in June. The UWF GenCyber Journey in Cybersecurity camp, funded through the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation GenCyber Program, aims to increase interest in cybersecurity careers and workforce diversity, and enhance cybersecurity awareness.

girl typing on laptop at home

“If we can get students to start at a young age, continue to develop their skills, and encourage their learning, then we will have more people in the amazing fields of cybersecurity and cyber defense,” said Diane M. Janosek, Training Director, NSA/CSS, and Commandant, National Cryptologic School. “Our goal is to provide as many opportunities as possible for students to be exposed to this new and evolving era so critical to our nation’s security. We value cyber educators, like the University of West Florida, and our future cyber warriors!”

The UWF Center for Cybersecurity partnered with the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council for the free, interactive, online program which featured live Zoom sessions. Girl Scouts in rising grades 6-8 from 14 states completed cybersecurity basics, cybersecurity safeguards and cybersecurity investigator badge requirements. UWF faculty and undergraduate student members of the UWF Cyber Club mentored camp participants.

“Cybersecurity offers a variety of rewarding career options right here in Northwest Florida, or what we call the Cyber Coast, and across the nation,” said Dr. Eman El-Sheikh, Associate Vice President of the UWF Center for Cybersecurity. “The UWF GenCyber Camps provide participants opportunities to learn core cybersecurity principles, gain experience and explore career pathways.”

Layla will be entering seventh grade at Oakleaf Junior High School. She learned of the camp through the Girl Scouts webpage and was thankful she found it.

“It put color into what was becoming a bleak summer, after the initial excitement about summer wore off,” she said. “I was learning, but at the same time having fun, and I learned a lot of cybersecurity and life skills. My favorite part was talking to people and learning about their jobs and knowing I could take what I learn in class and apply it to real life. It was also fun to meet students from UWF’s Center for Cybersecurity and get different perspectives.”

To learn more about the UWF Center for Cybersecurity, visit uwf.edu/cyber.