Optiv Announces Second Annual $40,000 Scholarship for Black, African American Identifying STEM Students

DENVER — Oct. 19, 2021 — As part of its ongoing commitment to diversity within the cyber and information security fields, Optiv, the cyber advisory and solutions leader, is accepting applications for its second annual $40,000 scholarship for Black, African American identifying STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students.


Awarded by Optiv’s Black Employee Network, the scholarship is paid out over four years. Last year’s inaugural recipient, Lauren Harris, is a freshman at Princeton University.


Applicants must meet the following qualifications to apply: 


  • Be a graduating high school senior.
  • Verify acceptance into an eligible degree program in a STEM related field (including but not limited to computer science, electrical engineering, math, etc.).
  • Minimum cumulative high school GPA is 3.5 on 4.0 scale.
  • Must maintain a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.2 on 4.0 scale over the course of four years to remain eligible for the scholarship.
  • Be planning a career in cybersecurity/information security.
  • Complete the scholarship application, including a one-page essay and two letters of reference.
  • Identify as Black and/or African American (African, African American, Caribbean, for example) and be a U.S. Citizen, U.S. national or permanent resident.


Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply and learn more about the scholarship program here. Optiv is accepting applications until Jan. 21, 2022.


“Diversity is instrumental to the success of any organization, allowing for creative, inclusive and thought-provoking conversations and outcomes,” said Heather Strbiak, Optiv’s chief human resources officer. “Optiv is investing resources to help improve diversity within our industry, while also focusing on creating equitable practices to ensure a path for young people of color as future leaders in cybersecurity.”


Optiv’s Black Employee Network is entirely employee-driven and part of the company’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) initiative. According to The CyberWire, research continues to show that people of color are underrepresented in cybersecurity. 


“I’ve been at Optiv for 10 years, and we not only profess our value of diversity and inclusivity but have put it into practice by establishing this scholarship, which creates an opportunity for success,” said Keyana Jones, Optiv’s Black Employee Network committee co-chair. “This effort provides an avenue for people of color to get the support they need to make an impact in cybersecurity in the future.”


Optiv honors and embraces the diverse perspectives, ideas, backgrounds and experiences of its people. The company’s approach to DE&I is grounded in listening, learning and growing.


Learn more about Optiv at www.optiv.com.

Optiv Security: Secure greatness.®

Optiv is the cyber advisory and solutions leader, delivering strategic and technical expertise to nearly 6,000 companies across every major industry. We partner with organizations to advise, deploy and operate complete cybersecurity programs from strategy and managed security services to risk, integration and technology solutions. With clients at the center of our unmatched ecosystem of people, products, partners and programs, we accelerate business progress like no other company can. At Optiv, we manage cyber risk so you can secure your full potential. For more information, visit www.optiv.com.