(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph School District's ROTC program announced they're helping students kick-start their careers a bit early.
The program has decided to get involved in CyberPatriots, a national youth cyber education organization and competition. The program helps train and educate students for careers in cyber security, as well as other science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) career fields.
"This is exactly what the industry is expanding to. You can translate this into jobs," Brett Hall, ROTC instructor at Central High School, said.
Hall said the school district has been looking to put together teams for both high school and middle school students.
"We're really excited about starting a team. This is the first team we've had here in St. Joseph School District," Hall said. "There are about 3,000 teams in the nation, so we're starting to get our feet wet and we want to expand the program and get involved. This is really exciting for us."
The competitions take place beginning in October, and last throughout May. Hall said although the ROTC program and school district only committed to CyberPatriots about two weeks ago, they already have six students signed up.
"This is the largest national cyber defense competition that exists currently. It involves the setting up of virtual networks, and networks through LAN IP addresses using three different operating systems," Hall said.
The competition will give students the chance to receive training, get certifications in specific fields, earn awards and receive potential scholarships.
Hall said they're trying to get students involved in a basic training camp in Overland Park, but that the district would like to sponsor a basic, and eventually an advanced, training camp in the St. Joseph area next year.
"We want to make this so that it's kind of like a sport. You know, something that people can get involved in, and we have coaches and we have mentors and we can involve the community," Hall said.
There isn't a final deadline on when students can apply to be a part of the program, but Hall said the teams will need to begin finalizing around September 1, 2019.
Anyone interested in getting involved has been asked to contact Brett Hall at 816-671-4080.