My name is Sam Grant. I’m a junior in high school at Moscow High School, home of the bears, in Moscow, Idaho. Moscow is a smaller city in northern Idaho along the border of Washington. Still, it is the largest city of Latah County and home to the University of Idaho. My dad and I are both from the Native Alaskan Tlingit tribe. My dad learned about a cybersecurity apprenticeship opportunity because he is a shareholder for Goldbelt Inc. which is the parent company of the subsidiary Peregrine Technical Solutions. There was information on the Goldbelt Facebook page about the apprenticeship along with a link to an application. I filled out the application, was accepted, and I’m now working for Goldbelt/Peregrine.
I became interested in computers in middle school. This was mostly because of my interest in video games and computer classes with my teacher, Mrs. Lynn. I have taken courses on basic computers and programming, learning both Python and Scratch languages, and have built a robot. I have also done a lot of online learning on my own.
As a junior in high school, and the first Youth Registered Cyber Apprentice in the United States, I’m very excited about the opportunities in front of me. In December, at the NICE K12 conference, I gave the student keynote address about my Goldbelt and Peregrine activities. I was a bit nervous considering the other people speaking, but I did it.
My typical day? I am attending school in person 2 days a week and online 3 days a week. I am taking a couple of dual enrollment classes for college and high school. In addition I work about 10 hours a week for Peregrine and Goldbelt. On the days that I am working from home, I spend the mornings doing my regular school work and then I move on to working on the college course that I’m taking through Tidewater Community College. These studies are focused on computer science. My friends and I still have time to play video games, which I really enjoy, but I’m very busy with Goldbelt and Peregrine projects. For one of these projects I am helping to develop a curriculum for remote village students in Alaska. We will try to reach out to them to become part of the cyber force. Early on, I experienced working with computer hardware which helped me to understand how things work. As I learned more about the software aspects and cybersecurity, I have developed more on an interest in that field. I think I’m going to focus my career in that area rather than hardware.
Dr. Leigh Armistead of Peregrine Technical Solutions is my boss and one of mentors. I enjoy working with him. He is very interested in having other students participate in their apprenticeship program recognized by the Department of Labor. I’m trying to help other students get interested. When I finish high school, I’m looking forward to attending the University of Idaho and receiving my degree be in cybersecurity and may even still be working with Peregrine Technical Solutions at that time.
My mom and dad are so supportive. I really appreciate everything they do for me. Although I am an only child, I keep myself very busy with my friends, the classes I’m taking, projects I’m working on, and life in general. I really appreciate my dad introducing me to this apprenticeship and I’m glad that I applied to the program. Who knows where I will be in five or ten years? I really believe I will be doing something interesting with cybersecurity opportunities throughout the world. I can only recommend that other students consider some of the options out there, like the Goldbelt/Peregrine apprenticeship. They are a great company to be working with, and it’s so exciting to start my career now. By the time I graduate high school, I will have industry-recognized certifications as well as a portion of college completed. This is very exciting for me!