Club Focuses on Cybersecurity

In an era of digital security breaches, phishing scams and cyber attacks, being protected in the digital world is more important than ever. Keeping people safe in cyberspace is a top priority for those in Punahou’s CyberPatriot club, which offers K – 12 students experience in cybersecurity, computer coding and STEM. 

Open to JRTOC cadets and other students, the club meets every Saturday to address security vulnerabilities in apps, programs and technology. Along with acquiring knowledge, the group plans to host educational sessions for community members who are especially susceptible to scams and other cyber threats.

Last Saturday, the team came in third place at a CyberPatriot competition at Sacred Hearts Academy that included local middle and high school clubs. They also took first place in the “Armed Services” category. The competition tested their knowledge of cybersecurity through tasks such as patching up security holes in a computer.

Club member and JROTC cadet Kirk Olkowski ’22 hopes the team will progress to the national competition later this school year. “The CyberPatriot club has been great for making friends,” he said. “It’s great for team building, and it’s also educational. I don’t always get super excited about academic stuff, but this is something I’m excited for. It’s like, ‘Oh, I get to do cyber!’”

The team received their award from Brigadier General Bernie Skoch, the National Commissioner of CyberPatriot. From left to right: Club mentor Gerald Amasol, Maverick Wong ’21, Ethan Gerhardt ’21, Renn Torigoe ’21, Kirk Olkowski ’22, Luke Cheung, Brigadier General Bernie Skoch, Punahou President Mike Latham ’86, Academy Principal Emily McCarren, club captain and Punahou JROTC Director LTC Ret. Robert Takao and JROTC Army Instructor Jeremiah Conachan. Not pictured: CyberPatriot club member and JROTC cadet Albert Yee.

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