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Hear from Raquel, KnowBe4’s 2022 Women in Cybersecurity Scholarship Winner

By: KnowBe4 HR

Published: 11 May 2022
Last Updated: 11 May 2022

In an effort to increase the percentage of women in the cybersecurity industry, KnowBe4 offers a yearly $10,000 scholarship and (ISC)² certification package, open to any woman who is pursuing a degree in cybersecurity. Raquel Reyes, KnowBe4's 2022 scholarship winner, is finishing up her second year at the University of Texas, where she studies Computer Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. In today's blog, we are thrilled to learn more about Raquel!

KnowBe4 Scholarship Winner Raquel Headshot

 

What initially sparked your interest in computer science and cybersecurity?

My dad is a senior systems engineer and inspired my love for computers. At a pretty young age, I was helping him disassemble and reassemble computer components for fun! 

When I began high school, I read Kevin Mitnick’s book “Ghost In The Wires,” and even though there was a lot of technical jargon I didn’t understand at the time, the subjects really interested me. I immediately began learning how to code, participating in Capture The Flag competitions, and gaining knowledge in anything related to cybersecurity!

 

How will this scholarship help you start your career?

The funds from this scholarship will be highly beneficial to help lower the financial pressure I’m currently experiencing. Working and going to school full-time is a lot to manage, and this scholarship will allow me to put my entire focus on my studies.

 

Who inspires you and why?

Raquel With Family

Some may say this is a cliché answer, but my parents are my biggest motivators! My mom is starting her university journey and was recently accepted into a nursing program. While starting nursing school, she still manages to care for my entire family. As I mentioned previously, my dad is an inspiration to me because he managed to progress in his career even though he did not attend college. He has never once given up and he inspires me to do the same!

 

What is your favorite quote?

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” –Shell Silverstein

I love this quote! I believe it encompasses what many people, including myself, go through as they find their way in the world. We are often told we are not good enough or that there is no way we can achieve whatever our goal may be, and actually, that’s not true at all!

 

What do you like to do for fun?

Raquel Working On Her Computer

In my spare time, I enjoy volunteering at my high school to help with their robotics and computer science teams. These two teams made such a massive impact on my high school journey, so giving back to them is extremely important to me. I also enjoy playing the violin, guitar, and piano.

 

What advice would you give to someone interested in applying for this scholarship next year?

Just go for it! Whether you receive the scholarship or not, there’s no harm in applying. In fact, the entire process teaches you how to communicate effectively, manage your time, and most of all, sell yourself! So just go for it. You won’t regret it.

KnowBe4 Scholarship Winner Raquel Headshot

KnowBe4 is proud to offer cybersecurity scholarships for women, veterans, and Black Americans. If you or anyone you know might be a good fit for this opportunity, click the button below for more information on how you can apply!

Are you KnowBe4’s next scholarship winner?

CHECK OUR AVAILABLE SCHOLARSHIPS

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