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Hear from Nickson, KnowBe4’s 2023 Black Americans in Cybersecurity Scholarship Winner

By: KnowBe4 HR

Published: 19 Jul 2023
Last Updated: 19 Jul 2023

In an effort to increase the percentage of Black Americans in the cybersecurity industry, KnowBe4 offers a yearly $10,000 scholarship, open to any Black American who is pursuing a degree in cybersecurity. Nickson, KnowBe4's 2023 scholarship winner, showed so much passion for the cybersecurity industry, and we can't wait to see what he will accomplish upon completing his computer science degree. In today's blog, we are thrilled to learn more about Nickson!

Winner Announcement Screenshot


What initially sparked your interest in computer science and cybersecurity?

My interest in computer science and cybersecurity began at a young age when I developed a passion for computers. In 2017, I read an article highlighting the value of data, oil, and gold, and how it's all operated and protected with cybersecurity. This inspired me to want to protect the most valuable asset which led me to switch my focus from computer science to cybersecurity.



How did you learn about this scholarship, and what made you apply?

I learned about this scholarship through a scholarship platform while conducting research. The opportunity to talk about my experiences and aspirations motivated me to apply.


Who inspires you and why?

My parents are my biggest inspiration due to their perseverance and dedication in providing for my siblings and me. Their resilience fuels my work ethic as I strive to give back to them.



What opportunities will this scholarship give you? 

This scholarship will provide financial support for my tuition, housing, and certifications in the field. It will open doors to internships and help me establish a successful career as a leader in the cybersecurity industry.


What is your favorite quote?

"Nothing comes from quitting, except knowing that you didn't finish" - Kevin Hart. This quote motivates me to push past my limits and overcome mental barriers.


What motivates you to spread awareness about more Black American representation in the cybersecurity space?

The underrepresentation of Black Americans in the cybersecurity field drives me to spread awareness and foster diversity and inclusion. I believe there is untapped talent that can contribute to this industry if provided with adequate information and resources.


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

My advice for future applicants would be to go for it, be genuine in your application, and strive to make progress in the field before applying, despite any challenges you may face.

Are you KnowBe4’s next scholarship winner?


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