Jean Fay delivers a keynote at the 2022 graduation of the Network Technology Program

Earlier this month, I was fortunate enough to attend a graduation at Roxbury Community College featuring a speech by ThreatX CEO Gene Fay. This was no typical graduation, but rather a celebration of 14 remarkable individuals whose achievements are truly inspiring. These students participated in a unique program called the Roxbury Community College Networking Technology Program, founded and designed by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission [MRC], an organization focused on bridging the skills gap and diversifying our workforce. MRC created this program specifically to provide cybersecurity training and opportunities to people with disabilities, and as a result, every student in this class walked away from this program with a Cisco Cybersecurity Certification, which is a significant achievement. Students have devoted hundreds of hours to completing this course so they can pursue careers in cybersecurity; some were just starting out, others had years of experience behind them, and many were chasing a lifelong dream. MRC, along with their instructor and family support, made these dreams not only possible, but achievable.

Initiatives like these play an important role in addressing the ongoing cybersecurity skills shortage. The industry needs to get creative and recruit in non-traditional ways to start filling the skills gap. In her keynote, Jean Fay spoke about her passion for both cybersecurity and helping people find work, and advised graduates to never stop learning or networking and to be persistent in pursuing their first job. After the ceremony, Jean was able to meet each of the students face-to-face; he had previously connected with many people on LinkedIn and even physically forwarded their resumes to connections he had at other cybersecurity firms. Because of the connections they made that day, many will begin careers in cybersecurity within the year. The success of this program inspired the MRC to launch similar programs to provide opportunities and resources to people with disabilities across the country.

DevOps Connect: DevSecOps @ RSAC 2022

But opportunity aside, I believe the most significant impact of this program is hope. We live in a society heavily influenced by systemic biases, especially in the workplace. Whether due to race, gender, age or disability, many face the challenge of overcoming preconceived notions when trying to get hired. More efforts have been made in recent years to eradicate these biases, with the MRC being an inspiring example of the aforementioned initiatives, but we have a long way to go. This program accomplished many things, but it did not provide these students with the tenacity, talent, and drive that each showed up with. Each of them wanted to learn and each was ready to prove to those who did not see their potential in any other way. All they needed was someone to believe in them and their abilities and that’s what the MRC did.

I was personally touched and inspired by this event. As a 21-year-old woman approaching my senior year of college, real-world concerns like entering the workforce and finding my place in society are becoming more prevalent by the day. After the short time I was able to spend with these 14 people on their special day, I was left inspired, finding comfort in their stories of triumph and bravery despite the odds. The generosity, kindness, and support shown by those at MRC, Roxbury Community College, and by Jean Fay make the world a little less scary place to walk into, knowing that there are people out there who strive for the success of others, not trying to knock them down. I learned the importance of being persistent, working hard and standing up for myself and my own success because nothing comes easy. But I also learned the importance of practicing gratitude because there are many things that I, unlike others, don’t have to work so hard for because of the privilege I was born with. These people have achieved something that will pave the way for all those who seek to follow in their footsteps, and as they continue to achieve what some believed they would never achieve, I hope their stories will inspire those who met, the same way they did it inspired me.

The post Jean Fay Delivers Keynote at 2022 Network Technology Graduation Program appeared first on ThreatX.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from The Web Application and API Protection Blog, written by Tess Sanchioni. Read the original post at: https://www.threatx.com/blog/gene-fay-gives-keynote-at-2022-networking-technology-program-graduation/

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