First Name

Kyla

Last Name

G.

Bio

Ever since Kyla was a young girl, she has always dreamed of being an influential figure in the field of STEM while motivating others to do the same. Starting her tech-journey at the age of 7 by learning Scratch, Web Design, and Lego Mindstorms, Kyla instantly grew a curiosity to explore the possibilities with technology. However, it wasn’t until the summer before freshman year that Kyla discovered her passion for the field of cybersecurity, fascinated by the task of protecting our future IoT machinery and massive loads of consumer data. She began to learn more about the field, taking online courses and learning Kali Linux commands and operations. Most recently, she was able to gain root access into 17 Microsoft XP Microsoft 10, Linux, and OpenBSD machines in a controlled computer lab. With this learning, she also was alarmed to learn how 90% of cyber-attacks on national infrastructure were due to human error, a problem, she felt, future generations could not be burdened with. Combining her passion for technology and her fervor for outreach, Kyla founded Bits N' Bytes Cybersecurity Education (www.bitsnbytes.us.com) in her freshman year, a company that now sustains over 20+ national partnerships with school districts, nonprofit organizations, education-based organizations like Discovery Ed., TED-ed, and United States Congressman. In spearheading these efforts, Kyla was able to publish a chapter about student entrepreneurship with Rowman and Littlefield, as a contribution to a larger book, Student Voice: from Invisible to Invaluable by superintendents Dr. Michael Lubelfeld, Mr. Nick Polyak, and Mr. PJ Caposey, as well as speak at TEDxChicago. At the same time, Kyla has always been interested in bridging the gender gap where women are underrepresented. A creative innovator, she leads her school's Girl's Coding Club, leading teams in entering various app contests. Additionally, Kyla cofounded and codirected Chicago's very first all-female run tech-conference for high schoolers, GirlCon 2018, which gathered over 200 students from around the country. Additionally, Kyla is a varsity golf athlete and an LPGA Girls Golf eLeader, teaching girls from ages 3-12 about swing technique and playing the male-dominated sport competitively. For all her work, Kyla has been nationally recognized by Stanford University’s She++ #include program as a 2017 fellow, awarded the Prudential Spirit of the Community Award from Prudential, and, most recently, distinguished as a Global Teen Leader under the Three Dot Dash We Are Family Foundation. In all areas, Kyla aims to defy expectations. Her future plans are to student Data Analytics with cybersecurity in college, and go on to work in the intersection of data, security, and business. However, in any passion she pursues, she wants to be a lifelong advocate for female leadership just as her role models are for her, making sure that women are not just finding a spot at the table, but flipping the table while they're at it.