FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 19, 2018 

Gov. Polis and Lt. Gov. Primavera announce 2019 Girls Go CyberStart Program
Over $200,000 in scholarships will be awarded to high school girls

DENVER, Colo.— The State of Colorado is again partnering with the SANS Institute to offer the Girls Go CyberStart program and encouraging high school students across the state to participate. In 2018, 250 students from 24 high schools in Colorado participated in the girls-only online cybersecurity competition through which prizes and scholarships are awarded. Students and schools can learn more and register at http://girlsgocyberstart.org. 

“Women are underrepresented in the tech and cybersecurity industry,” said Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera. “We hope this fun challenge will encourage more young women to test their skills and explore opportunities in this field.”

The Girls Go CyberStart game is an online series of challenges that allow students to act as cyber protection agents to solve realistic problems and puzzles and explore exciting, relevant topics, such as cryptography and digital forensics. Participating students (and their teachers) do not need prior knowledge or experience in information technology or cybersecurity to participate. All that is required is a computer and an internet connection. 

“Cybersecurity is a fascinating and ever-evolving field,” explained Dr. Theresa M. Szczurek, Chief Information Officer and Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Information Technology. “I encourage young Colorado women to participate in Girls Go CyberStart and uncover a passion for information technology because cyber experts are in great demand.”

The Girls Go CyberStart program is free for schools and students. As an added incentive for this year’s program, another $200,000 in college scholarship money will be awarded to high school juniors and seniors who perform well in the game. At least ten high school girls in Colorado will win scholarships, and the top three high schools in Colorado with the most participants will win awards of $1,000, $750, and $500, respectively.

All Colorado high school girls in grades 9 to 12 are invited to play. Registration opens February 18. Play begins on March 20. 

### 

About the Governor’s Office of Information Technology

The Colorado Governor's Office of Information Technology (OIT) is responsible for the operation and delivery of information and communications technology services and innovation across the Executive Branch agencies in the State of Colorado. OIT drives innovative technology solutions, provides quality service, and supports the agencies whose missions are so critical to serving Coloradans. We do this by overseeing technology initiatives at the state level, recommending strategies and maximizing efficiencies of service delivery in a cost-effective manner through the application of enterprise technology solutions. Our enterprise approach also enables the agile delivery of new applications to state agencies that improve citizen access to government services while increasing accountability and transparency.

Find OIT online at colorado.gov/oit, on the #StateofCO IT blog, and on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Media Contact: Brandi Simmons, Chief Communications Officer & PIO
303.764.6897
brandi.simmons@state.co.us