WESTON, FLA. (WSVN) - - The FBI’s search for new recruits to help in the fight against online crime has led to the creation of a scholarship program that’s drawing the attention of South Florida high school students.
FBI Special Agent Alexis Carpinteri was in South Florida this weekend, hoping to generate interest in the subject among local teens — with the help of a new STEM program.
“We are looking for those with special skills in the cyber and security world to look at careers in the FBI,” she said.
It’s part of the Scholarship for Service program, which aims to recruit young talent to protect the country in the future.
“It’s important for us to find the next generation of those interested in serving their community, protecting their nation and using those special skills,” said Carpinteri, “so we decided to go ahead and take a look at younger ages, try to instill that idea in them.”
The bureau pioneered the new program at a handful of schools. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math, the subjects that make up the bulk of the curriculum.
The program features a strong focus on public service.
“I can’t wait to see what the students create and learn,” said STEM supervisor Lisa Milenkovic, “and hopefully I’ll get to participate and go to the FBI, too, ’cause when I was a student, that’s kind of what I wanted to do, and I’m not there now.”
Cypress Bay High School is among the schools taking part. Students are preparing for potential careers with the nation’s most premier law enforcement agency.
“The type of student that is in this program is STEM-oriented,” said Marianela Estripeaut, Cypress Bay’s assistant principal. “These are the skills that are needed. These are the skills the FBI is looking for, for these cyber security agents, so they’re STEM-oriented; they like mathematics, they like technology, they like computers, but more importantly, they like service.”
For the FBI, this is a long-term investment. It could be more than five years before any of these students can join the ranks.
The program’s goal is to help create a highly skilled generation of cybersecurity experts. Students who make the grade can receive full tuition to college — if they commit to studying cybersecurity and working for the local, state or federal government.
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