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Bridgewater-Raritan — Education Top Stories

BRHS Student One of 10 to Learn Cyber Security

Audrey Blumberg

Thursday, August 21, 2014 • 1:30pm

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - He was honored for accomplishments by the Board of Education, and now Bridgewater-Raritan High School student David Tsai has continued to impress with his interest in cyber security – so much so that he has been chosen as one of 10 to receive training from those who train agents of the FBI and CIA.

Tsai spent his summer first attending the American Legion Boys State at Rider University, where he, along with about 960 other students from across the state, set up mock local and county governments and dealt with issues that municipalities deal with on a regular basis.

From there, Tsai was part of the Overseas Youth Volunteer Service program, in which he flew to Taiwan, stayed with a home stay family and taught English as a counselor at a summer camp at a middle school.

Now, Tsai has been selected as one of 10 members in the Second Cyber Aces cohort. He was chosen based on his performance on the New Jersey Cyber Aces competition and interviews.

Tsai will take foundation courses in cyber security and hacker attacks, then choose another course out of three options, beginning no later than Sept. 4. He is committing to about one course and the associated certification every two months, as well as meeting at the New Jersey Cyber Aces Academy at Brookdale on one Saturday a month for hands-on lab work.

Those who complete all five courses and certifications will be invited to apply for residencies with the New Jersey Cyber Aces Academy, which allows students to work with cyber security professionals.

“I will be receiving training from the SANS Institute, which also trains agents of the FBI and CIA, over the course of one year,” Tsai said. “In essence, $30,000 worth of education is being granted to me, covered by the National Science Foundation, simply because I got a good score at the Cyber Aces competition back in March and because I demonstrate an interest in cyber security in general.

Tsai said he hopes to use the internship opportunity to get him into a career of solving problems and serving others.

Tsai was honored at a board of education meeting for his score in the competition.

Of the 10 offered to be part of this program in the coming school year, Tsai was one of only a few high school students selected for this academy. The schooling is funded by a National Science Foundation grant, and the competition started with more than 900 participants in the statewide program.

Tsai finished first in the state in the initial round, and then was invited to advance to a championship round at Brookdale, which took place in March. He placed among the highest in that round, and underwent an interview in June, before being selected for the academy.

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