The following is the final installment in a series looking at the winners of the inaugural Gula Tech Foundation grant competition, and their efforts to increase African American engagement in cybersecurity. SC Media spoke with the leaders from all three winning organizations, each of whom experienced key turning points in their lives that led them to where they are today, putting each in a position to improve the fates and fortunes of others’ lives as well. See Part 1 on the Black Cybersecurity Association here and Part 2 on NPower here.

As founder and CEO of Girl Security, Lauren Bean Buitta is in a position to help reshape cybersecurity into a more diverse, inclusive and welcoming industry. But to rise to this level of prominence, she first had to escape what she described as a toxic work environment while trying to establish herself as a female professional in the security sector.

Girl Security provides trauma- and equity-informed programming and non-technical training through its “SEA Model,” whereby girls and young women are secured, empowered and advanced. Buitta described the nonprofit’s mission as “forging equity and national security by empowering girls with learning, college-to-career training, and mentoring, to advance them in national security careers.”

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