Recipient to be Recognized with a $10,000 Award and a Two-Year Cybersecurity Mentorship

September 27, 2022—Salem, MA—Steel Root, a cybersecurity services provider that specializes in Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) compliance for the Defense Industrial Base, announced today that applications are open for the 2023 Steel Root Cybersecurity Scholarship and will be accepted through October 31: https://steelroot.us/steel-root-scholarship/. The scholarship will be awarded in early 2023 after an applicant review process.

According to an annual Cybersecurity Workforce Study conducted by (ISC), the world’s largest nonprofit association of certified cybersecurity professionals, 2.72 million unfilled cybersecurity job openings were reported in October. Created in response to the persistent cybersecurity staffing gap, Steel Root created the Steel Root Scholarship Fund in 2021 to support one high school Junior in their efforts to pursue higher education in the field of cybersecurity. The Scholarship is awarded annually to a Massachusetts-based student with demonstrated financial need and includes both financial and programmatic support:

  • $10,000 awarded over two years toward an accredited two-or four-year college, university, or vocational-technical/trade school 
  • A two-year mentorship with a Steel Root cybersecurity professional that will meet with the student regularly through the final year of high school and into freshman year of college
  • Free college preparation and career services through LEAP for Education’s College Success Program

Across nearly every industry (including the federal government with its upcoming CMMC mandate), cybersecurity has increasingly become a prerequisite for doing business. “As a cybersecurity firm, we witness the impact of the ongoing cybersecurity talent gap every day,” said Scott Freedson, managing partner at Steel Root. “By combining a large financial contribution with one-on-one mentorship, we hope to minimize the mental and monetary challenges that prevent so many promising students from finishing their studies. We look forward to supporting Massachusetts high school students on their way to careers in cybersecurity.”

The inaugural scholarship winner in 2021 was Christian Silva. Silva is now a Senior at Salem High School and has already been meeting with members of the Steel Root team to help guide him in his pursuit of studying technology and cybersecurity. Silva will also be working with LEAP’s college success program during his Senior year for guidance on the college application process and plans to apply to UMass Lowell to start coursework focused in information technology.[1] 

The biggest benefit of the scholarship is really the connections I’m making,” said Silva. “Earning the scholarship is opening up a lot of paths for me. Not only do I get the help from Steel Root, but the scholarship helps show how serious I am about my education path and career.” 

Applications for Tax-deductible contributions to the Steel Root Scholarship Fund can be made at Essex County Community Foundation (etransfer.com) and are managed by the Essex County Community Foundation.

About Steel Root

Steel Root accelerates CMMC compliance by implementing and managing a purpose-built cybersecurity solution designed for the U.S. Defense Industrial Base. Steel Root’s CMMC Ready™ program brings together technology, processes, personalized guidance, and day-to-day management to ensure that government contractors of all sizes operate securely and can confidently meet CMMC requirements. Learn more about Steel Root cybersecurity and compliance offerings for federal contractors at steelroot.us.