YOUNG LEADERS IN TECH

School closures amidst COVID-19 have exposed massive digital inequity.

A lack of access, hardware, basic computer skills, and readiness to learn remotely widens the achievement gap.

1 in 12 kids have exchanged messages with strangers that were sexual in nature.

1 in 20 children will meet strangers online and then arrange a secret meeting with them.

58% of teens don’t think posting personal information online is unsafe.

92% of teens post their real name on their online profiles.

Among families with school-age children, 25% of all black households and 23% of Hispanic households lack high-speed internet.

Only 10% of white households with school children lack high-speed internet access.

42% of children between the ages of 6-17 say they’ve been exposed to hardcore pornography while browsing online.

1 in 25 kids ages 6-17 say they have sent graphic photographs of themselves online at least once.

Introductions to careers in cybersecurity cannot wait until college. Pipelines for a diverse workforce start with childen.

1/4 of the young respondents in a Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency survey stated they did not feel qualified to pursue a career in cybersecurity.
Yet 47% said they would have an increased interest in the field if they learned more about what the job actually entailed.

About 50% of young people have experienced some form of cyber bullying, and 10-20% experience it regularly.

Cyber bullying victims are more likely to have low self esteem and to consider suicide.

Lack of online learning skills during COVID-19 challege the entire family.

Parents take on the role of teachers, but often are not prepared to guide their children in e-learning.

Parents and teachers who don't know about cybersecurity careers cannot inform students adequately.

Professional experts who provide career information through virtual and live presentations and mentorships allow high school students, especially those who lack career resources, to explore the cybersecurity field in a real life forum.

Their Need

The digital divide is not a new concept. However, with the global COVID-19 pandemic closing schools around the world, online inequities have been exposed even further. Families face the critical issue of the “homework gap” which further widens the digital divide of the haves and have-nots. OIT programs address the very prevalent issue of skill-set deficiency and cyber safety factors as children are now required to begin e-learning.

Our comprehensive approach addresses another critical need- building pipelines and pathways for a diverse workforce in cybersecurity. As a prelude to our professional adult programs, we introduce under-represented populations to career opportunities in cybersecurity, launching a pipeline for a diverse workforce in the digital world.

Listen to the podcast as One In Tech and our collaborator Bits N’ Bytes Cybersecurity Education discuss the issues facing all students due to e-learning needs created by Covid-19.

Our Focus

Young Leaders In Tech prepares the next generation to be healthy digital citizens. We serve under-resourced, disenfranchised children with the knowledge and skills to help them avoid online risks, build e-learning skills, and explore career pathways into the cybersecurity field.

The program is informed by a youth Junior Advisory Board which advises and provides input on all youth initiative, ensuring relevant, applicable content. In addition, cybersecurity professionals across the world offer their volunteerism to support the career exploration to help build a diverse future workforce.

Young Leaders In Tech works to ensure the common barriers blocking equity are addressed so that youth will serve as the building blocks of a safe, knowledgeable, innovative, and inclusive digital future.

Gender

Educational Level

Race

Socioeconomic Status

Our Initiatives

Young Leaders In Tech is a suite of online and in-person educational initiatives for grades K-12/ages 5-18. These initiatives are designed to support all young students as they navigate cyberspace and explore careers in cybersecurity. They include a series of online mini-courses, videos, webinars, one-on-one support, and resources. Initiatives will present insightful, relevant information designed to ensure youth are included in developing the future of IT.

Program areas include:

  • Pathways, education, and resources for cybersecurity careers
  • Personal cyber safety awareness and online safety skills
  • E-learning resources and skill set development
  • Insight and inclusion of youth in cybersecurity conversations and development
  • Participation of all youth in the cyber world

CYBERSLEUTHS

Now Open for Registration

Online curriculum and presentations offering instruction in cyber safety and security and user skills. User-friendly, age-appropriate educational experiences offering tips, techniques, and resources within these areas:

  • Personal safety and responsibility while e-learning and social online usage
  • E-learning and successful online use of technology within education
  • Career exploration in cybersecurity and related fields
  • Supplemental Video Series provides cybersecurity basic skills through short, youth-developed videos

Learn More

CYBER PATHWAYS

Launched 2021

Offering career exploration, these videos are presented by youth and cybersecurity professionals via live and recorded videos, webinars, and virtual events. The material is designed to build interest and pathways for under-represented youth into cyber careers. Resulting impacts will include building the future tech workforce pipeline.

Includes:

  • Detailed exploration of specific roles and positions in cybersecurity
  • Tips and guidance in preparing for and entering the cyber career space
  • Subject-specific topics within cybersecurity such as ethics, data collection, virtual human care services, and commerce

Learn More

MENTORSHIPS

Pilot Launched in 2021

With a model of matching professional cybersecurity professionals and educators to youth, this initiative leads student exploration in the many roles within cybersecurity, building the future tech workforce pipeline. Currently in a pilot phase through a non-profit partnership, the initiative will scale up for larger impact.

Includes:

  • One-on-one virtual meetings discussing interests and direction
  • Job shadowing opportunities
  • Guidance on future educational options to prepare for career opportunities
  • Mentor-Mentee networking events to build discussions, support systems, and resources

SCHOOL-BREAK CYBER SERIES

Launched 2021

Offering activities, resources, and opportunities for learning during time periods when school is often out of session. Designed to support commonly under-resourced and/or disengaged students.

Includes:

  • Collaborative events for fun and educational activities
  • Guidance in identifying and applying for summer sessions, camps, and other opportunties through OIT’s partners and collaborators
  • Opportunties to engage with other students as well as cyber professionals around tech usage, safety, career prep, and hot topics in technology

Learn More

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