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Joy Huggins, YCND Founder

Joy Huggins was a foster child born into a life of service. From Girl Scout to veteran, to community volunteer, she has dedicated her time and talents to her local community. In the spirit of sharing her knowledge and introducing youth who may not otherwise have had the opportunity to discover how “cool” cybersecurity is like she did, she founded Network Defender Academy to teach middle and high school students the fundamentals of cybersecurity. She is also the founder of Hack Joyously, a confidence coaching program for women and minorities that encourages a resilient and confident cyber superstar.


Joy created the Youth Conference of Network Defenders as a way of bringing students and their influencers – parents and educators – together to meet, engage with and learn from cybersecurity professionals in a safe, casual and fun environment. 


Joy lives in Baltimore, Maryland where she works in a she works as a senior level civilian for the Department of Defense. Joy is passionate about educating the next generation of cybersecurity professionals to help close the workforce gap. She believes that new approaches to fundamental skills development can create a more dynamic, credentialed and diverse security workforce for the future.


You can read more about Joy’s experience in “Reinventing Cybersecurity” by Jasmine Henry.

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Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu

The Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC), a national 501(c)3 non-profit, is dedicated to raising awareness of cybersecurity career opportunities and advancement for women in the field, closing the gender gap and the overall workforce gap in information security roles. Founded in 2012, WSC is focused on empowering women to succeed in the cybersecurity industry. WSC’s mission is to advance women in cybersecurity careers by providing programs and partnerships that promote hands-on training, networking, education, mentoring, resource-sharing and other professional opportunities.

As our partner organization on this event, proceeds from the 2023 Youth Conference of Network Defenders will benefit the Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu.

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