High school students from 30 states are in Madison, South Dakota this week taking part in a cyber security camp. It’s called GenCyber, and it’s sponsored by the National Security Agency.
Madison Passolano from the Chicago area is back for her second year of cyber security camp.
“This new building is absolutely gorgeous and the food here is really good,” Passolano said.
The high school softball player is also passionate about computer programming.
“This is what I want to do in college and later in life,” Passolano said. “I want to work for the FBI, cyber security department.”
Passolano is one of 300 students living here at Dakota State until Friday. It’s the largest residential GenCyber camp in the country.
The camp gives kids a taste of college being on campus here at Dakota State University all week.
“It’s one of the highest demand industries we see right now. Getting kids excited and testing that career path before they’re in college so they can experience that this is something that they can do for a lifelong learning path,” Cronin said.
While she admits she was a bit lost last year, Passolano has the hang of it now.
“We just stayed up all night. We drank a bunch of Mountain Dew and we just programmed and worked on what we did that past day,” Passolano said.
She says that effort helped a ton and she’ll continue learning to code long into the future.
A GenCyber camp for middle school girls is set to begin on Sunday after this one wraps up.