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7 WCPSS Students Named National Cyber Scholars

June 8, 2021


Seven WCPSS students were among 18 high school students from across North Carolina that were named National Cyber Scholars by the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation after winning a rigorous 48-hour competition designed to evaluate aptitude in combating cyberthreats, Gov. Roy Cooper announced last week.


The WCPSS winners are:

  • Emily Chen, Panther Creek High
  • Leonie Cheung, Panther Creek High
  • Vivian Huang, Green Hope High
  • Bradley Nelson, Cary High
  • Rishik Pavani, Panther Creek High
  • Cindy Sun, Panther Creek High
  • Akshar Yeccherla, Panther Creek High

Each has received a $2,500 college scholarship and the opportunity to participate in the Cyber Foundations Academy, a multi-week cybersecurity training and certification course, according to a news release from the governor's office.


The winners were among 1,165 North Carolina high school students from 173 schools to participate in the national CyberStart America competition, a free online program that helps students discover their interest in cybersecurity and develop their talents and skills. Students can use the platform to train and qualify for the National Cyber Scholarship Competition.


“These students have demonstrated exceptional critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork skills that can help them become the next generation of cyber professionals,” Gov. Cooper said in a news release. “I’m proud of the students who have participated in this competition and hope it has ignited their interest to pursue becoming part of North Carolina’s IT work force.”


Overall, approximately 30,000 students across the United States sought to qualify for this year’s National Cyber Scholarship Competition – about 5,000 advanced to the first round. Of those students, 600 performed well enough to earn the title “National Cyber Scholars.”


Congratulations to each 2021 National Cyber Scholar and a special congratulations to the 18 North Carolina recipients,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt said in the news release. “It is a tremendous accomplishment to be recognized for the hard work and innovation in this prestigious field. These students’ experience in cybersecurity will open doors and new opportunities that will most certainly lead to a promising career in what is quickly becoming a leading industry.”