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June 19, 2018

Aguilar’s Amendment to Connect Underserved Students with Cyber Scholarships Passes Senate

Yesterday, the Senate passed H.R. 5515, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019. Included in the bill as an amendment was the OPPORTUNITY Act, Rep. Aguilar’s legislation to help students who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) access the Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program. The amendment, which aims to ensure that the Department of Defense is selecting cyber scholarship recipients from a diverse pool of applicants, was introduced in the Senate by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) after it passed the House last month.

“Cyber security threats will continue to increase in the coming years, and we need to do all we can to ensure we’re prepared to meet them,” said Rep. Aguilar. He continued, “We can’t afford to miss any talent when recruiting for our cyber defense forces, and the OPPORTUNITY Act ensures that students from traditionally overlooked communities have a chance to serve.”

“The cyber scholarship amendment will help attract a diverse pool of candidates to lead the nation’s strategy in the field of cybersecurity,” said Sen. Warner. “With mounting demand across nearly every industry for trained cyber workers, it’s particularly important that we invest now in developing a diverse workforce. I applaud Rep. Pete Aguilar’s work to ensure the amendment was included in the House passed defense bill, and I am pleased that this critical provision will be included in the final Senate package.”

A member of the Cybersecurity Caucus, Rep. Aguilar worked to reestablish the Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program, which provided cyber security scholarships to 40 students last year, including two at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB).