National Cyber Scholarship Foundation Ranks Masters Senior

Matt Nappo ’21 has added another accolade to his roster: He was recently named a Scholar in the National Cyber Scholarship Competition (NCSC).

The title includes a college scholarship and an invitation to the Cyber Foundations Academy this summer.

The Foundation, whose mission is to identify, nurture and empower the next generation of cybersecurity experts, invites high school students to participate in a rigorous 48-hour online cybersecurity competition. Nappo competed against more than 5,000 fellow high school students in challenges such as solving computer security problems and capturing and defending computer systems. 

“I like these challenges because they really test how well you understand how a computer works, and they test your creative thinking and problem-solving ability,” Nappo said.

Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship John Chiodo, who coaches the Cybersecurity Team, said that merely qualifying “is an excellent achievement itself.” The numbers tell the story: “In total, more than 50,000 students nationwide sought to qualify for the NCSC, with just 10 percent meeting the requirements,” he explained. “Of that 10 percent, only 600 individuals attained the level of ‘Scholar.’”

Nappo is delighted that his hard work paid off. “The competition was steep, and the puzzles and challenges were really difficult,” he said. “I am also excited to be invited to the Academy to continue my cybersecurity education.”

After he participates in the summer program, where he will learn from America’s top cybersecurity experts and industry employers, Nappo will be heading to the University of Rochester in the fall to study computer science and engineering.