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Cyber Talk Radio: Ghostwire Academy, IT and Cybersecurity Training

By Bret Piatt
Sep 25, 2018

Bret Piatt, CTR Host and Shaun Herron, Ghostwire Academy President - Week 104 of Cyber Talk Radio

Show Summary

This past Saturday, September 22, episode 104 of Cyber Talk Radio hit the air on 1200 WOAI and iHeartRadio streaming. I was joined by Shaun Herron, Nilo Mackey, and Meagan Gabrysch of Ghostwire Academy to discuss the academy and its IT and cybersecurity training program for youth in San Antonio.

To kick off the program, we get to hear directly from two students that are attending Ghostwire Academy, Nilo and Meagan, and how they got interested in technology and programming. Nilo, a student at NEISD STEM Academy, got into CoderDOJO to learn computer programming CE, Python and Java Script to get started. That is where he met Shaun! Meagan, a student at Clark High School, joined the ROTC program at her school specifically to join the CyberPatriot team. Since her school ended up getting rid of the CyberPatriot program, she got involved in the Ghostwire Academy to continue her cybersecurity training and education. Shaun has served as a Non-Commissioned Officer for the U.S. Air Force for over 18 years and is currently Flight Chief of Operations at the 33rd Network Warfare Squadron. Shaun has certifications in Sec+, Linux+, GCIH, and Forensic Disk Analysis as well as associate degrees in Advanced Electronic Concepts and Cybersecurity. Given his military and cyber background, Shaun channeled his passion for STEM education and exposing youth to potential career paths in IT and cybersecurity by founding the Ghostwire Academy.

Ghostwire Academy originally took place at public libraries around town and overtime developed an organized curriculum. Ghostwire is now based at the Confluence Park focusing on high school students, freshman up to seniors. Right now, they are offering courses teaching ethical hacking and IT Fundamentals (10-week certification course). In 2019, they plan to offer a few iterations of IT Fundamentals, Network+ and Security+ which will all be certification courses. The Academy is doing something a little different by teaching teenagers about IT fundamentals and computer networking with a concentration on cybersecurity, all run by active duty service members with military experience in cyber warfare and cyber operations. These teachers and trainers translate their teaching material into certifications so that the students can either go directly into the workforce or secure scholarships to continue their STEM education.

Thanks to Ghostwire Academy’s sponsor, Dynamic Advancement, they are able to provide the exams and certifications to students for free! The Academy is always looking for sponsors, donations and experts to help train the students. If you want to get involved to help support, reach out to Shaun at: shaunherron@ghostwireacademy.org.

Listen to the episode replay to hear more about Ghostwire Academy and how to get students excited about technology and cybersecurity, here or watch below.

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