AUGUSTA, Georgia – Efforts to keep local students connected to a positive future got a boost as AT&T, which has been connecting people for well over a century, contributed $35,000 to the CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon in partnership with the Richmond County School System (RCSS). AT&T’s contribution will be used to provide technology and support to the CyberPatriot teams at TW Josey High School, Lucy C. Laney High School, and the Richmond County Technical Career Magnet School (RCTCM).
CyberPatriot is a national program designed to teach cyber techniques and skills to high school and middle school students. The Alliance for Fort Gordon will monitor and manage fund distribution to ensure compliance.
"As the cybersecurity industry continues to grow, we are committed to developing our students’ skills in this field, ensuring they enter the 21st century workforce prepared," said Dr. Angela Pringle, Superintendent of Schools. "We are grateful for our partnership with the CSRA Alliance and corporate citizens like AT&T, who support programs that make a life-changing difference for our youth."
"These students are Augusta’s future, our future, and we must invest in their education and development if we want to see continued economic success and job growth throughout this area," said Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr. "The CyberPatriot program is of utmost importance for preparing our students to graduate 21st century ready and enhancing our world-class cyber workforce in Augusta."
The CyberPatriot program was created by the Air Force Association (AFA) to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future.
In 2017, the Fort Gordon Cyber District was home to 8 teams. This year, through the Alliance’s efforts generating awareness and promoting this program, the Fort Gordon Cyber District is home to over 80 teams – approximately 60 percent of the total CyberPatriot teams in Georgia. AT&T’s contribution will allow even more teams to have the equipment needed to compete at the local, state, and national levels.
"The rapid growth of the Cyber Patriot program in the Richmond County School System is an important tool for developing future Cyber leaders and IT professionals," said Georgia State Representative Wayne Howard. "And, our State’s recent Cyber investments in Augusta and AT&T’s contribution will allow us to continue building the needed pipeline from our public high schools and broadening the reach of the program to more and more deserving students in Richmond County."
"At AT&T, we are committed to helping people connect with their world and opportunities that make life more fulfilling," stated Stan Shepherd, AT&T Georgia Regional Manager of External Affairs. "As the cybersecurity industry continues to grow in Augusta and beyond, we are proud to support the CSRA Alliance and the Richmond County School System and their work to positively impact our community and state by helping prepare our youth with skills needed to graduate college and 21st century career ready."
The Alliance for Fort Gordon serves as the catalyst to build a world-class cyber workforce with superior cyber capabilities for the region and the state of Georgia. These efforts will bring awareness, stimulate investment, and allow capitalization on the opportunities that will ensure transformational change in our region. By 2020, the Fort Gordon Cyber District will be a nationally recognized destination for cyber work, life, and play.