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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. Growing up, she took on side projects including learning Scratch and MIT App Inventor to build apps, designing websites, programming an LED billboard, and engineering a model rocket to launch 300 feet in the air. 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 Internet of things machinery and massive loads of 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 began to notice 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 in her freshman year, a company that now sustains over 20 national partnerships with school districts, nonprofit organizations, education-based organizations like Discovery Ed., and United States Congressman. Kyla travels for public speaking and writes for her own blog on topics including social engineering, data privacy, malware, and password protection. At the same time, Kyla had always been interested in bridging the gender gap in fields where women are underrepresented. After all, she strongly believes that empowered women empower women! A creative innovator, she leads her school's Girl's Coding Club, leading teams in entering various app contests. Additionally, most recently, Kyla began collaborating with another passionate CS-fanatic to begin planning Chicago's very first professional tech-conference for middle school girls called GirlCon 2018. Also, Kyla is a varsity golf athlete and is an LPGA Girls Golf eLeader, teaching girls from ages 3-12 about the game of the golf-a game that is highly male dominated. 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. Additionally, Kyla recently published 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. 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, alongside this, she plans to be a lifelong advocate for female leadership, making sure that women are always “leaning in” and following in the footsteps of her role model, Sheryl Sandberg.