Optiv Names Virginia High School Senior AJ McCrory Recipient of $40,000 Scholarship

Black Employee Network Scholarship Promotes Diversity Within Cybersecurity Field


DENVER — April 26, 2022 — Optiv, the cyber advisory and solutions leader, has announced AJ McCrory as the recipient of its second annual Black Employee Network (BEN) scholarship.


BEN is entirely employee-driven and part of Optiv’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) initiative. The scholarship, open to Black, African American identifying STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students, reflects Optiv’s ongoing commitment to diversity within the cyber and information security fields.


McCrory, a high school senior from Ashbury, Va., will attend James Madison University in the fall where he will study computer science, focusing on a software development track with a goal of becoming a backend software engineer. McCrory’s passion for computer science began in middle school. Since then, he’s consistently maintained his Google Ads Certification and learned Java, C++, Python, and Windows Batch scripting through his enrollment in a college-level cybersecurity program at the Academies of Loudoun in Leesburg, Va. Through this program he also competed at CyberPatriot, a national cybersecurity competition hosted by the Air Force Association.


“This scholarship allows me to further my knowledge and secure my future, and I am extremely grateful to the Optiv Black Employee Network for this astounding opportunity,” McCrory says. “I intend to use this as a catalyst to reaching new heights in my career and empower other black students pursuing careers in the STEM field.”


McCrory will receive $10,000 each year for four years while at James Madison University.


“Optiv’s BEN scholarship is a great opportunity to help promote equity and diversity in our industry. I am proud that Optiv will support AJ McCrory as he continues to work toward his goal of becoming a cybersecurity professional,” says Tesfaye Williams, community outreach lead for BEN. “The exceptionally talented applicants for the BEN scholarship are proof that our industry will be in good hands going forward.”


Last year’s inaugural recipient, Lauren Harris, is a freshman at Princeton University.


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.

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.

Related Insights



Optiv Announces $40,000 in Scholarships for Black, African American Identifying STEM Students


We will award a $40,000 scholarship to a Black/African American student pursuing a STEM degree with the goal of becoming a cybersecurity professional.



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


Lauren Harris – committed to the admissions process at Princeton – has been selected as the first winner of Optiv’s Black Employee Network scholarship.



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


As part of its ongoing commitment to diversity within the cyber and information security fields, Optiv is accepting applications for its second annual $40,000 scholarship for Black, African American identifying STEM students.