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CTC students compete at Platinum level in cybersecurity competition

After completing two preliminary rounds of CyberPatriot–the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, five teams from the Internet, Networks & Security program at the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center (MACTC) placed in the Platinum and Gold Tiers. This year 6,387 teams registered to compete in CyberPatriot XI. MACTC students represented Muskegon County well, placing in the top 20 out of 93 open division teams from Michigan.

Led by Internet, Networks & Security (INS) Instructor Susan Rhem-Westhoff, and INS graduates serving as mentors, teams that achieved Platinum Tier status included: Akira with members, Sarah Stoller (Whitehall), Samuel Wright (Whitehall), Amelia Mundinger (Ravenna) Jason Cruz and Vince Cruz (Oakridge); We Showed Up! with members, Joel Eklund (Oakridge), Shane Barnes (Oakridge), Cameron Sportell (Mona Shores), Nathan Barrett (Whitehall), Nathan Purple (Whitehall), and Kevin Grullon (Whitehall); and Spock Defenders with members, Dylan Rusco (Oakridge), Dustin Laird (Reeths Puffer), Christian Lenius (North Muskegon), Jesse McMahon (Orchard View), and  Ethan Jarembo (Orchard View). Gold Tier teams included, Cherubwith members James Gobert (Whitehall), Mikayla Cook,  Arrianna Cook (Oakridge), and Dominick Stevens (Muskegon); and Recruit Rush with members Beau Wacholz (Montague), Donovan Castelo (Montague), Blake Woodland (Fruitport), and Kyle Kuharevicz (Fruitport).

CTC Students

Teams Akira and Spock Defenders finished eleventh and twelfth in the state with teams We Showed Up! and Cherub finishing sixteenth and eighteenth out of the 93 open division teams. With an impressive top-20 performance, the students represented Muskegon County well by demonstrating teamwork, critical thinking, and technical knowledge–all keys to a successful career in cybersecurity.

“CyberPatriots is a hands-on, lifelike opportunity for the students to hone and apply their security skills while developing teamwork and leadership skills,” said Rhem-Westhoff.

“My favorite part of the competition was the stress of finding the last vulnerability with only two minutes left, then happiness ensued!” shared Akira team member Jason Cruz.

Established by the Air Force Association, the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program was created to excite, educate, and motivate students toward careers in cyber security and other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future.

The 6,387 teams registered represent all 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands; U.S. Department of Defense schools in Europe and the Pacific; Egypt, United Kingdom, Nigeria, Estonia, and Japan; Canada, Australia, Singapore, Hungary, Spain, Guam, and the United Arab Emirates. Ultimately, only the top 28 teams from across the United States, Canada, and from Department of Defense Dependent Schools abroad move on to the final national competition. The 28 winning teams enjoy an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the live National Finals Competition to compete for national recognition and scholarships.

For more information about the Internet, Network & Security Technologies program at the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center visit muskegoncareertech.com and click on the Classes link.


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