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Craig Newmark, craigslist Founder, Funds Innovative Cybersecurity Programs For Girl Scouts of Greater New York

Craig Newmark, craigslist Founder, Funds Innovative Cybersecurity Programs For Girl Scouts of Greater New York

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Newmark’s $250,000 gift will establish a cybersecurity camp and troop leader trainings; Initiative will reach nearly a thousand NYC Girl Scouts with critical STEM programming

(New York, NY) – Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the charitable organization run by craigslist Founder and long-time STEM education advocate Craig Newmark, has donated $250,000 to Girl Scouts of Greater New York (GSGNY), to fund a new slate of cybersecurity training initiatives for more than 900 girls across New York City.

“Craig Newmark’s generous gift will help GSGNY as we encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM. Too often, when girls show interest in STEM fields, they are discouraged from continuing on this path—but programming that supports their development can counteract that,” said Meridith Maskara, CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater New York. “Closing the gender gap in STEM will benefit all of us, introducing more diverse skill sets, perspectives, and experiences to the field itself, while helping young women find careers where they can embrace their passion and flourish.”

“Our country needs a lot more people to defend it, and people need good careers, particularly in STEM. Girl Scouts cybersecurity training will help address these needs, and not only for girls. I would take the training, but I don't think I’d fare as well as a Girl Scout,” said Craig Newmark, President, Craig Newmark Philanthropies. 

The new cybersecurity programs represent GSGNY’s latest additions to a robust suite of STEM programming for girls, through partnerships with institutions including the New York Hall of Science, VidCode, and FIRST Robotics.  GSGNY offers age-specific programs in which girls practice inquiry-based learning, explore STEM careers, and ultimately develop confidence with STEM subjects.

Cybersecurity training will be available to a limited number of Girl Scouts across all age levels. Daisies (K-1st grade), Brownies (2nd-3rd grade), and Juniors (4th-5th grade) will receive virtual curricula, and opportunities for “virtual field trips” and e-mentoring from cybersecurity professionals as they work to earn cybersecurity badges designed for their age group.

Newmark’s gift will also be used to fund training for 50 Girl Scout Troop Leaders, resulting in hundreds of additional Girl Scouts across levels earning the cybersecurity badges.

Cadettes (6th-8th grade), Seniors (9th-10th grade), and Ambassadors (11th-12th grade) will have the opportunity to attend a week-long, virtual Cybersecurity Academy this summer, and earn badges for their age level. Through the Cybersecurity Academy, girls will learn from professional guest speakers, attend virtual field trips, attend e-mentoring sessions with cybersecurity professionals, and participate in project-based learning. The groups will be challenged to use the knowledge they have obtained to investigate and respond when a fictional city has been affected by a cyberattack. They will:

●      Determine how the attack has affected the city

●      Identify suspects

●      Decide whether to pay the ransom

●      Figure out how the attack happened

●      Learn how to prevent future attacks

Seniors and Ambassadors who complete the Cybersecurity Academy will have the opportunity to apply for a stipend to complete a college-level online cybersecurity certification course.

In addition, GSGNY’s Girl Scout Leadership Institute—a year-long leadership development program in which girls in grades 6-12 develop the skills and confidence to be leaders in their schools, communities, and beyond—will offer a new cybersecurity track. Girls in the cybersecurity track will earn a cybersecurity certification and will have the opportunity to apply for cybersecurity internships, and be paired with an expert mentor.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, all Girl Scout programming in New York City has shifted to a virtual platform until further notice.

About the Girl Scouts of Greater New York

The Girl Scouts of Greater New York is New York City’s premier girls’ leadership organization, reaching more than 32,000 girls ages 5 to 18 in every zip code of the five boroughs. Girl Scouts enjoy STEM, business and entrepreneurship, environmental leadership and outdoor education, take-action projects and advocacy, as well as activities across 1,200 troops led by more than 7,100 volunteers. Girl Scouting is ‘by girls, for girls’ and encourages girls to be a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™. Today’s Girl Scouts learn to lead with courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place.

About Craig Newmark Philanthropies

Craig Newmark is a Web pioneer, philanthropist, and leading advocate. Most commonly known for founding the online classified ads service craigslist, Newmark works to support and connect people and drive broad civic engagement. In 2016, he founded Craig Newmark Philanthropies to advance people and grassroots organizations that are "getting stuff done" in areas that include trustworthy journalism & the information ecosystem, voter protection, women in technology, and veterans & military families. At its core, all of Newmark's philanthropic work helps to strengthen American democracy by supporting the values that the country aspires to - fairness, opportunity, and respect. For more information, please visit: Craig can be found sharing his personal perspective on the issues of the day at @craignewmark.