Junior Charles Mason is a member of a team of four, first-year students in Orange-Ulster BOCES Career and Technical Education Center’s Cisco/CNNA Computer Networking Class which won the New York State Gold Tier third-place award in the third round of the CyberPatriot Competition.
The competition is part of a cyber-education program conceived by the Air Force Association to inspire high school and middle school students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) — disciplines critical to the future and security of the United States.
Other team members were Phoenix Graham of Goshen High School, Oluseye Ilori of Pine Bush High School and Kevin Ward of Cornwall High School.
At the center of CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, which puts teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company.
Through a series of online competition rounds, teams are given a set of virtual operating systems and are tasked with finding and fixing cybersecurity vulnerabilities while maintaining critical services. Each round lasts six hours and involved more than 2,600 teams that entered this year in the open division.
Orange-Ulster BOCES CTEC programs give students the opportunity to graduate from high school with technical experience, professional skills, national industry certifications, and college credit in a wide variety of high-demand occupations.