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Inspiring Student Interest in Cybersecurity

Network Defender Academy Hosts their 2nd Annual Youth Conference of Network Defenders in Baltimore City on April 15th, 2023.

Baltimore, MD – Registration is now open for the 2nd annual Youth Conference of Network Defenders (Y-CND) on April 15 in Baltimore, MD. This full-day conference hosted by Defender Academy will inspire middle and high school students to get excited about cybersecurity and pursue educational and career opportunities in the field.

The Y-CND offers an interactive environment to inform and inspire middle and high school students about cybersecurity and the career opportunities presented by the cybersecurity industry. At the conference, cybersecurity professionals, providers, and educators can connect with youth attendees to share their experiences, be recognized as role models, form mentorship relationships, attract participants to their education and training programs, and identify recruits for future job opportunities.

“Inspiring youth from diverse economic and cultural backgrounds to pursue careers in cybersecurity is critical for building a strong pipeline of cyber talent,” said Joy Huggins, the founder of Y-CND, a military veteran and experienced cybersecurity professional. “That’s how we keep good-paying jobs in Maryland, provide pathways to create generational wealth in the Baltimore region, and make cyber cool! We’re so excited to bring this event back for a second year.”

The Y-CND will take place at Code in the Schools, located at 21 E North Ave. Baltimore City, MD, 21202, on Saturday April 15th from 8:00 AM to 7:30 PM. The event will feature interactive exhibits, a gaming gallery, capture the flag competition, inspirational workshops, career exploration center, and a relaxation station for adults and chaperones.

Attendees will hear from Jack Cable — the NSA's youngest-ever hired hacker. Cable is a Senior Technical Advisor at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. He rose to top ranks in bug bounty programs, having identified over 350 vulnerabilities in companies including Google, Facebook, Uber, Yahoo, and the Department of Defense. For his work, Cable was named to Time Magazine's list of the 25 Most Influential Teens of 2018.

Registration is open to the public and students, teachers, and cybersecurity professionals are encouraged to attend. Registration for the event is $50 and can be made at Breakfast, lunch, and a closing ice cream social are included.

The event is sponsored by Defender Academy, Code in the Schools, and Squadra Ventures. Proceeds from the 2023 YCND will support the non-profit Women's Society of Cyberjutsu.

Help us spread the word — please consider sharing this opportunity with teachers, schools, parent and neighborhood Facebook groups, technology professionals in your network, and young future cyber defenders!

About Youth Conference of Network Defenders

Press Contact: Joy Huggins,

The Youth Conference of Network Defenders mission is to create access for diverse youth in the cybersecurity and tech space. Joy Huggins, Y-CND’s founder and host, was a foster child born into a life of service. From Girl Scout to veteran, to community volunteer, she has dedicated her time and talents to her local community. Y-CND aims to bring students and their influencers — parents and educators — together to meet, engage with and learn from cybersecurity professionals in a safe, casual and fun environment. Huggins is also the founder of Defender Academy which teaches middle and high school students the fundamentals of cybersecurity, and Hack Joyously, a confidence coaching program for women and minorities that encourages a resilient and confident cyber superstar.

About the Women's Society of Cyberjutsu

The Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu, a national 501(c)3 non-profit, is dedicated to raising awareness of cybersecurity career opportunities and advancement for women in the field, closing the gender gap and the overall workforce gap in information security roles. Founded in 2012, WSC is focused on empowering women to succeed in the cybersecurity industry. WSC’s mission is to advance women in cybersecurity careers by providing programs and partnerships that promote hands-on training, networking, education, mentoring, resource-sharing and other professional opportunities.


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