Alan Paller Memorial
We know financial emergencies happen. This fund provides agile financial support for women students pursuing cybersecurity careers who are experiencing urgent, short-term financial barriers to success.
Alan Paller Memorial cyber talent Emergency Fund
WiCyS is proud to partner with the Last Mile Education Fund to offer the WiCyS Alan Paller Memorial Cyber Talent Emergency Fund, a critical intervention to help students bound for careers in cybersecurity overcome financial obstacles to their progress and success.
We honor Alan Paller, founder of SANS Technical Institute, through this fund to pay it forward to the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. Since the beginning of WiCyS, Alan championed women in cybersecurity by making strong contributions to the community with his commitment to building a stronger, more diverse cybersecurity workforce.
The WiCyS Alan Paller Memorial Fund Cyber Talent Emergency Fund provides agile financial support for female students pursuing cybersecurity careers who are experiencing urgent, short-term financial barriers to success.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA AND TIMELINE
The Cyber Talent Emergency Fund awards rapid response mini-grants to women pursuing careers in cybersecurity at institutions in the U.S. through the Last Mile Education Fund with support from Women in CyberSecurity. To be eligible, applicants must meet the criteria outlined below and applications will be accepted until available funds have been exhausted.
To be eligible, applicants must:
- Identify as a woman or non-binary individual
- Demonstrate low-income status, ineligibility for US Federal student aid, or evidence of need
- Currently enrolled in a cybersecurity related degree at an accredited 2-year, 4-year or graduate institution of higher education in the U.S. Eligible degrees will be outlined in the application.
- If undergraduates, students must be within 4 semesters of degree completion (Juniors and Seniors).
- Currently located in the United States
- Experiencing a time-sensitive financial need that is a threat to your continued progress as a cybersecurity student.
Infomation Security Analyst, General Dynamics
“I randomly took a shot to apply for this scholarship and was awarded it. That gave me the extra push I needed to pay for my last portion of tuition for the last class I needed to graduate. That $600 to some might not seem like a lot, in actuality, it was life-changing. I could focus better on my last course to secure my Graduate Degree. Additionally, I was struggling to take a risk to accept an internship with GDIT for 10 weeks during the summer. This internship has no guarantees for securing employment in the end, however, I felt it was a huge opportunity and feared I would have regrets if I didn’t take that risk. I am a 39-year-old single mother of two children, a graduate student and working 40+ (more like 50-60+) hours all though my grad school experience having a guaranteed income was the primary focus however every breath has been a struggle, that $600 scholarship showed me I was headed in the right direction for a career in information technology.
For the next 4 weeks, I attempted to somehow balance all items listed above and adding additional hours and stress to myself. Knowing I couldn’t be everything to everyone I made the biggest decision in my professional life and resigned from my full-time position to focus on the opportunity with General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT). I can now tell you that on August 19, I received an MBA with a concentration in Computer Information Systems. On August 20, I received a full-time offer letter from GDIT as an Information Security Analyst. I can honestly say that the scholarship was an important part that lead me to be in right place, at the right time, with the right team and company. I now have the opportunity to thrive instead of merely survive. I am forever grateful and hope that this fund has the opportunity to change other women and their lives as this impacted not only mine but my children’s future and opportunity for success as well. Thank you very much, as I will forever be grateful.”
Student at Bay Path University
“Thanks to the WiCyS Cyber Talent Emergency Fund for your support this year. Through the grant, I have been able to obtain my goal to stay on track with my graduation timeline and maintain a healthy balance between my school and home life. I can continue thriving in school, and I will be graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Forensics and Incident Response in the next year!”
Betzaida Perez Gomez
Student at Texas A&M University
“I received financial support from the WiCyS Cyber Talent Emergency Fund after my mom stopped working due to medical issues in order to address Internet connectivity issues with my ISP. Towards the end of the Spring semester, my Internet connectivity worsened at home and it began getting in the way of my school work. With the funds I was able to get a technician to upgrade our router which improved our Internet connection at home by a lot. This allowed me to do school work at home after classes instead of staying out late. I was also able to put the rest of the funds towards a new device that has helped me complete my school assignments and WiCyS social media officer duties more effectively. I am forever grateful for WiCyS and investors for offering their support to women during trying times of our lives. I hope to pay it forward in the future.”
WiCyS student member
“I recently quit my full-time job to attend graduate school in cyber security and as a full-time student it is a challenge to keep up with the bills. I was really excited when I learned about the WiCyS Cyber Talent Emergency Fund program. The fund has contributed towards paying my tuition and related bills. Life doesn’t always go as planned and I highly value any form of support that contributes towards achieving my educational goals. I have benefited tremendously since becoming a member of WiCyS and am very grateful for all the opportunities I have received. This year has been a year of blessings as I have gotten the chance to be in the Sans security training, WiCyS mentorship, and also attend the conference. It keeps getting better and now I am the recipient of the emergency fund. Thank you WiCyS and Last Mile Education Fund!”
Founder & CEO, Last Mile Education Fund
WiCyS Executive Director
“We know unforeseen financial situations weigh heavily on students. For some, these emergencies leave them feeling helpless and uncertain on whom to depend on. For others, it can force them to drop out of their studies. The WiCyS Cyber Talent Emergency fund allows us to offer financial support (and more) to our community. That’s what a cyber sisterhood is truly all about and it’s a great honor to partner with the Last Mile Education Fund to make this offering a reality!”