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Amazon Donates to CYBER.ORG's Project REACH Summer Camps for Diversity in Cybersecurity Education

CYBER.ORG, a workforce development organization backed by the Cybersecurity Education and Training Assistance Program (CETAP) grant from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), has announced a notable donation of $50,000 from Amazon. The donation is designated to bolster the Project REACH cybersecurity summer camps nationwide, aimed at enhancing diversity within the cybersecurity sector.

Project REACH, initiated in 2022, was established as an avenue to educate K-12 minority students about cybersecurity while fostering pathways to cybersecurity and computer science programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), with the objective of bridging the diversity gap in cybersecurity.

Thanks to CISA's support, the program has expanded its reach to include minority-serving institutions (MSIs). Through the Project REACH summer camps, CYBER.ORG facilitates connections between high school classrooms and local educational institutions, offering cybersecurity activities, classroom assistance, campus visits, industry mentorship, and more.

Jenny Brinkley, Director of Amazon Security, commended CYBER.ORG's impactful efforts, stating, "CYBER.ORG is making a significant impact in expanding access to K-12 cybersecurity education nationwide and diversifying the talent pool pursuing cybersecurity careers. Amazon is committed to improving access to STEM and cybersecurity careers. We’re proud to partner with CYBER.ORG to build the next generation of cybersecurity talent."

Amazon's contribution of $50,000 has facilitated the execution of 14 Project REACH events across nine states during the summer of 2023. The involvement of high schools like A.H. Parker High School, Capitol City High School, and Jefferson City High School, as well as MSIs such as Grambling State University and Virginia State University, underscores the broad outreach of the initiative.

Linda Avery, a cybersecurity teacher at Sumter Career and Technology Center, expressed enthusiasm about Project REACH's impact: "Through Project REACH, we’re proud to spark minority students’ interest in cybersecurity careers and cybersecurity or computer science degree programs." Laurie Salvail, executive director of CYBER.ORG, emphasized the importance of initiatives like Project REACH in broadening access to cybersecurity careers, underscoring the significance of partnerships in fostering industry diversity. “Innovative programs like Project REACH that partner higher educational institutions with K-12 schools are critical to bringing more minority students into the cybersecurity field,” said Salvail.

“We are extremely grateful to Amazon for its support and partnership as we work together to ensure that future cybersecurity careers are accessible to all students. Expanding Project REACH and our partnerships is pivotal to diversifying the industry.” ###


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