Beyond the Bell Becomes the First Educational Institution to Receive the First Vandenberg Award in its 66-Year History

LOS ANGELES (Sept. 24, 2014) - Each year since 1948, the Air Force Association honors the outstanding achievements of men and women throughout the United States Air Force, government, academia and the aerospace industry with the Vandenberg Award.
Beyond the Bell was selected to receive the Award for its leadership role in Cyber Security education.  For the past six years, Beyond the Bell has had more teams advance to the Finals of CyberPatriot: The National Cyber Security Competition than any other school district in North America.  Earlier this year, the team from North Hollywood High School captured the national title. 
“It is such an honor to receive this Award,” said Cortés. “We firmly believe that providing education for students interested in careers in cyber security is of the utmost importance.”
Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark A. Welsh III, presented the Award for “Distinguished Accomplishment” and three-star Air Force General George Mullner (retired), Chairman of the Air Force Association. The Award reads, in part, ”Beyond the Bell’s excellence in program development, administration and management increased graduation rates and ensured students emerging from LAUSD were well equipped for higher education and competitive workforce environment challenges they will face.”
This Saturday, September 27, 2014, Beyond the Bell prepares for this year’s CyberPatriot Competition with over 300 students attending CyberDay LA. Beyond the Bell is building on its legacy of recruiting more female and minority students to participate. CyberDay LA will take place at Cal Poly Pomona.  General Mullner, Chair of the Air Force Association, is flying in from DC, to deliver a keynote speech to the students.
The Air Force Association launched CyberPatriot: The National High School Cyber Defense Competition, knowing that threats to cyber security were growing at an alarming rate and there will be a pressing need to fill jobs in the field.  Preliminary elimination rounds are held at high schools and middle schools nationwide. From a field of more than 1,500 teams nationwide, the top ten advance to the National Finals each year.
Beyond the Bell LAUSD provides a wide variety of programs after school and on weekends to more than 100,000 students.  Students engage in STEAM and community service projects.  They are encouraged to take leadership roles in anti-smoking campaigns, rape awareness programs, neighborhood clean-ups and many other areas of concern to their communities. They comprise the single largest volunteer force in the greater Los Angeles area.
For more information and opportunities, check or on Twitter @BTBLA or

Contact: Cynthia Montalban (213) 241-3547 or Laurence Cohen (310) 980-7788

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