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Press Releases

Commonwealth of Virginia State Seal


Chief Information Officer
Robert Osmond
Virginia Information Technologies Agency7325 Beaufont Springs Drive
Richmond, VA 23225
(804) 510-7300TDD VOICE -TEL. NO. 711
For additional information contact:
Lindsay LeGrand, APR
Director of Communications
Thu, 29 Jun 2023 11:04:00 EDT
For immediate release

12 Virginia students named national cyber scholars with honors and 208 students named national cyber scholars in national cyber scholarship program

The students have earned cyber training scholarships totaling approximately $732,000 across the Commonwealth
(Richmond, VA) - 

The Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) today announced that 12 Virginia students have been named as national cyber scholars with honors and 208 Virginia students were named as national cyber scholars in the National Cyber Scholarship program. 

National cyber scholars with honors earn cyber training scholarships worth approximately $9,000 each, and national cyber scholars earn training scholarships worth approximately $3,000 each. This year’s scholarships total approximately $732,000 across the Commonwealth.

The majority of students qualified for the scholarships by participating in the CyberStart America competition which, in partnership with the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation (NCSF) and the SANS Institute, offers students in grades 9 through 12 free access to CyberStart, an immersive cybersecurity training game. Students can play the game to learn more about cybersecurity and build skills that could prepare them for a career in technology.

“We are so excited by the level of participation and success in this year’s CyberStart America competition,” said Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth Robert Osmond. “Last year we had 53 national cyber scholars from Virginia. So, with this year’s total – 208 national cyber scholars – we have approximately four times more students who have earned scholarships! This means they also now have more opportunities to improve their cybersecurity skill sets and training, along with a potential interest in pursuing cybersecurity as a career field.” 

“I commend Virginia’s latest cyber scholars,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Coons. “Through the CyberStart America competition, these students have gotten a jumpstart on a career in technology and cybersecurity while being rewarded scholarships for their efforts.”

Similar to last year, Virginia ranked in the top five nationally with 3,505 students and 189 schools registering for CyberStart America, and 383 students qualifying as semifinalists in the competition.

“This is a great opportunity for students to get hands-on experience learning about cybersecurity, which is a very nuanced and quickly-changing field,” said Chief Information Security Officer of the Commonwealth Michael Watson. “We are so pleased to see our young people show such an interest in these types of cyber educational programs. The future is bright for cybersecurity in the Commonwealth.”

For more information on CyberStart America and this year’s list of winning students in Virginia, visit the VITA website.


About the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA)
VITA is the commonwealth's consolidated technology services and solutions provider responsible for the operation of the state's technology infrastructure, governance, security and oversight of major IT projects, and procurement of technology-related goods and services on behalf of state and local governments.