CyberPatriot team headed to national competition

For the third time in school history, a team from Business Careers/Holmes high schools is headed to national CyberPatriot competition.

The 6 member team will compete in Baltimore, Maryland April 7-11 along with 12 other teams from around the country that qualified for National CyberPatriot in the All-Service division, for teams associated with a JROTC, Civil Air Patrol, or Navy Sea Cadet program. Out of 6,041 teams, only 28 teams advance as National Finalists.

Team members are Miriam Correa, 11th grade; Joshua Kerski, 12th grade; Zane Salazar, 12th grade; Jorge Pena, 11th grade; Eric Melton, 10th grade; and Joey Asmus, 10th grade. Sponsors/coaches are Colleen Curl and Juan Guerrero.

CyberPatriot 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. 

Teams compete for the top placement within their state and region, and the top teams in the nation earn all-expenses paid trips to the National Finals Competition where they can earn national recognition and scholarship money.

Region and state competitions take place virtually at each campus and are scored electronically by the CyberPatriot organization. National competition takes place in a live environment, with IT professionals actively "attacking" the teams in real-time as they try to secure their system and ward off attacks.

“What these students are doing, and the level at which they are competing is impressive because it rivals professionals in the field,” said Business Careers HS principal Randy Neuenfeldt. “CyberPatriot is an extension of our curriculum so we are really proud to see this team achieve this level of success.”

CyberPatriot is part of the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association to inspire K-12 students to pursue careers in cybersecurity or STEM-related fields.