Kyla is a 16 year old high-school junior from Illinois. The summer before her freshman year, Kyla discovered her unique passion for cybersecurity, fascinated by the task of protecting our technologies of the future. With this discovery, she also learned that 90% of cyber-attacks on national infrastructure were due to human error: a problem, she felt, future generations could not be burdened with.
To combat this, equipped with a passion for computer science and cyber, Kyla founded Bits N’ Bytes Cybersecurity (www.bitsnbytes.us.com) a nonprofit organization that now sustains 20+ national partnerships with school districts, corporations including ISACA and IBM, educational platforms like Discovery Ed. and TED-Ed, and United States Congressman, all in order to increase awareness for global cybersecurity/privacy threats.
For her work, Kyla has been nationally recognized as a 2017 Stanford University #include fellow, 2018 NCWIT AiC National Award Winner, and 2018 Global Teen Leader for the Three Dot Dash program, representing the US at the Global Just Peace Summit in March. Most recently, Kyla published a chapter about student entrepreneurship in Student Voice: from Invisible to Invaluable by Dr. Michael Lubelfeld, Mr. Nick Polyak, and Mr. PJ Caposey and was invited to speak at TEDxChicago. This past summer, her passion and dedication even took her to Apple, where she got to work on new engineering technology solutions for a more sustainable future.
Also an active spokesperson for the women in tech community, Kyla recently cofounded and co-directed GirlCon, Chicago's first female high-school tech conference. Her team of 15 high-schoolers worked tirelessly to unite over 250 students and professionals from around the country to start dialogue about bridging the apparent gender gap in the industry. For Kyla, being a Gen-Zer brings a great responsibility, but also a great power, to build a better future using technology.