FT. MEADE, Md. –
On 19 October, more than 250 Girl Scouts gathered in Hunt Valley, Md. to put their leadership and cybersecurity skills to the test at the inaugural Girl Scouts Cyber Challenge. Their quest was clear: The world’s first moon colony had been hacked, and now they must form an incident response team to determine who hacked their systems and how to stop them.
Sarah Eddy, former Girl Scout and current Deputy Chief of Critical Networks Defense within the Cybersecurity Directorate at NSA, was the perfect speaker to keynote the challenge and inspire the audience. Speaking on “Cybersecurity, Resiliency, and You,” Sarah shared highlights of her journey that taught her resilience, confidence, and as she calls it, “grit.”
From failing a math exam in sixth grade and being told “you’re just not good enough,” to jumping out of an airplane with a faulty parachute while in the U.S. Army, to now serving as a key cybersecurity leader, “you have to have the ability to bounce back when you are set back,” she noted. By maintaining this perspective throughout her career, each experience served as a building block for the next.
Sarah closed by reminding the Girl Scouts of their unique value and talent. “You are each going to have your own unique journey and being a woman in STEM will present challenges and opportunities. But don’t let go of your passions even when the path is not clear. Set your mind to be the woman that develops the next robot, the artificial intelligence that revolutionizes computing, or even the first cybersecurity expert on the moon. Then go do it!”