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Optiv has announced that it is accepting applications until January 27, 2023, for its annual $40,000 scholarship for Black STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) students. Awarded by Optiv’s Black Employee Network, the scholarship is paid out over four years.

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Previous recipients include a freshman studying computer science with an emphasis on software development at James Madison University, and a sophomore studying biology and computer science at Princeton University.

Applicants must be graduating high school seniors with acceptance letters into a degree program in computer science, electrical engineering, or math. They must also be planning a career in cybersecurity/information security.

“It’s our belief that our organization is at its best and our clients are better served when a range of voices has the opportunity to be heard, lead and make an impact,” said Heather Strbiak, Optiv’s chief human resources officer. “We want boardrooms and breakrooms across our industry to more closely represent the population at large. By dedicating effort and resources to spur that outcome, we’re aiming to close the talent and diversity gap in cybersecurity.”

Optiv’s Black Employee Network (BEN) is part of the company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiative.

“The most creative, thought-provoking, and successful projects I’ve worked on have been the result of inclusive environments where everyone’s unique ideas were valued and represented,” said Tesfaye Williams, Optiv’s BEN community outreach leader. “This scholarship is our way of ensuring the cybersecurity industry continues to progress and be an attractive career path for people of color seeking to make a difference.”

Optiv partners with organizations to advise, deploy and operate complete cybersecurity programs from strategy and managed security services to risk, integration, and technology solutions.

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