The Youth Conference of Network Defenders (YCND) provides an interactive and fun environment to educate and inspire Baltimore City middle and high school students about cybersecurity and the career opportunities available in the cybersecurity industry.
YCND provides an open forum for cybersecurity professionals, providers, and educators to connect with diverse youth from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds in order to share their experiences, be recognized as role models, form mentorship relationships, attract participants to their education and training programs, and identify recruits for future job opportunities.
The proceeds of the 2023 YCND will be donated to the non-profit Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu. See below for more information on this extremely beneficial organization.
- Interactive Exhibits & Gaming Gallery
- Education & Inspiration Workshops & Sessions including Flash -Talks & Youth Presentations
- Career Exploration Center
- Capture the Flag Competition
- Selfie Station
- Relaxation Station (for parents/guardians/speakers/sponsors)
- Breakfast, Lunch, Closing Ice Cream Social with DJ, Candy Station -& more
Participants at the Y CND: -The 2023 Conference will target middle and high school students from marginalized and underrepresented communities and groups in Baltimore and neighboring areas.
- The above-mentioned youngster’s parents/guardians -Educators who currently help the above-mentioned youth and parents
- Educators and trainers that want to engage the aforementioned youth as prospective future pupils in their programs.
- Professionals in cybersecurity who want to be role models and mentors
- Vendors and partners are interested in engaging with the aforementioned demographics for product and/or service sales or workforce recruiting.
Joy Huggins, the creator, and host of YCND, was born into a life of service as a foster child. She has given her time and abilities to her local community as a Girl Scout, veteran, and community volunteer. She launched Network Defender Academy to teach middle and high school children the foundations of cybersecurity in the spirit of sharing her knowledge and introducing youth who may not otherwise have had the opportunity to discover how “awesome” cybersecurity is like she did. She is also the creator of Hack Joyously, a confidence-building program for women and minorities that promotes the development of resilient and confident cyber superstars.
Joy founded the Youth Conference of Network Defenders to bring students and their influencers – parents and educators – together in a secure, relaxed, and entertaining atmosphere to meet, engage with, and learn from cybersecurity professionals.
Joy lives in Maryland and works for the Department of Defense as a senior civilian. Joy is dedicated to teaching the next generation of cybersecurity experts in order to close the cybersecurity workforce gap. She believes that new methods of basic skill development can help to produce a more dynamic, certified, and diverse security workforce in the future.
More of Joy’s experience can be found in Jasmine Henry’s book “Reinventing Cybersecurity.”
About the Women’s Cyberjutsu Society
The Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu is a nationwide 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of cybersecurity job options and progress for women in the industry, hence closing the gender gap and the general workforce deficit in information security roles. WSC was founded in 2012 with the goal of empowering women to excel in the cybersecurity field. The objective of the Women’s Security Consortium is to develop women in cybersecurity careers through initiatives and collaborations that promote hands-on training, networking, education, mentoring, resource sharing, and other professional possibilities.