KANSAS CITY, Mo – Those online purchases everyone makes have to be protected by somebody.
There’s a worldwide need for more trained cybersecurity professionals, the techs who protect information from hackers. It’s been said that data is now the most coveted commodity in the world.
A new program sponsored by Kansas City’s Black-owned business community is designed to help train future techs, and to lead today’s kids to future careers.
The job market is calling, and the Black Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City foresees inner city high school students from today benefitting the community down the road.
The Black Chamber’s new Stronger Together program partners students from Kansas City Public Schools with advanced tech training from Cal Poly. Experts from that popular tech school are regularly sharing their knowledge with students from schools such as Central High School.
KCPS Superintendent Dr. Mark Bedell recanted a popular saying in the cybersecurity field – “Either you’ve been attacked, or you’re going to be attacked.” Bedell’s expression emphasized the need to focus on tech training and how students at his schools could join in, once they receive quality know-how.
“We want our kids to graduate with stackable credentials and market value assets. We want them to be ready to go on any continuum,”Bedell said on Thursday. “This gives them a leg up.”
This facet of the Stronger Together initiative gives these high school students advanced skill sets many teenagers won’t gain until they hit college. Kelvin Perry, who oversees the Black Chamber of Greater Kansas City, said students involved in the program are asked to give black-owned businesses their loyalty after they enter the workforce.
“We are stronger together, Kansas City. It takes all of us,” Perry said.
So far, the program has three students, all of whom have landed internships with companies tied to the Black Chamber. That includes Central High sophomore John Gooden, who said he appreciates the advantage this program will provide.
“There’s a lot of demand for people who can work with servers and computers. This is teaching me to do that, and this is going to make me desirable for a lot of companies,” Gooden told FOX4.
The hope is these future professionals will give back to their community, and perhaps, this school system. It wasn’t so long ago that KCPS’s own computer servers were violated by hackers. The school district has taken steps to see that won’t happen again.