Optiv Names Omaha Senior Lauren Harris Recipient of $40,000 Scholarship

-- Optiv’s Black Employee Network Scholarship Aimed to Help Foster Next Generation of STEM Students and Increase Diversity in Cybersecurity Industry --


DENVER – February 25, 2021 – Optiv Security, a security solutions integrator delivering end-to-end cybersecurity solutions, today announced the recipient of its Black Employee Network (BEN) scholarship. Lauren Harris, a student-athlete committed to the admissions process at Princeton studying biology and computer science from Omaha, Nebraska, has been selected as the winner as part of the company’s overarching Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative.


Lauren will receive $10,000 each year for four years while at Princeton. Optiv is also awarding $500 grants to each of the three runner-up students to help cover the cost of books.


“As we reflect on the importance of diversity in our industry and Black History Month at large, it’s an easy choice to start making a bigger difference in our communities through funded scholarships,” said Optiv CEO Kevin Lynch. “We intend to announce a new scholarship recipient each year until we are sponsoring four students concurrently. On behalf of all of Optiv, we are proud to celebrate Lauren Harris as our first scholarship recipient and cheer her on as she commences her higher education journey. It’s through the incredible drive, passion and leadership of young people like Lauren who will pave the way for a better future.”


Q&A with Lauren Harris


What are you most proud of so far?

Maintaining a 4.0 GPA while juggling extracurriculars and my passion for running track is something I’m very proud of. I’ll continue to be a student-athlete and run track at Princeton.


What does diversity mean to you?

It’s extremely important to me, especially since Omaha is predominantly white. I led an effort at my school to implement diversity training after meeting with my principal. The result of that was a diversity board that plans events and educates students and faculty on diversity, as well as the hiring of the school’s only Black employee. 


What are your career goals?

I am planning to use my degree in molecular biology and computer science to start a bio-cybersecurity firm. I hope to be able to use my voice to keep fighting for diversity in what has traditionally been a male-dominated field. 

“Optiv believes we are most powerful when our voices are diverse,” said Noland Perrilloux, client manager with Optiv and BEN committee chair. “I feel very privileged to be part of Optiv and help foster the company’s efforts to invest in creating more opportunities for young Black people such as Lauren, and ultimately, help increase diversity in the cyber and information security fields.”


BEN is entirely employee driven and part of Optiv’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative. This initiative supports multiple affinity groups including the Optiv Women’s Network, Pride and Optiv Veterans Engagement Team and Supporters as well.


To learn more about opportunities at Optiv, visit our career page.

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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.