A 15-year-old high school student, London, and her mother Claudia, a former Wall Street analyst and founder of HBCU Prep School, are collaborating for the benefit of children.
The mother-daughter duo are gearing up to launch a children’s book on cybersecurity and a mobile game. The ABCs of Cybersecurity and Hackman, which will teach kids how to use the internet safely and expose them to career options in cybersecurity, is scheduled for release on January 6, 2024.
An invitation to the White House was sent earlier this year by the Office of the National Cyber Director in reaction to the book.
The books Claudia wrote earlier, such as “The ABCs of HBCUs” and “The ABCs of Black Wall Street,” had made their way into Target stores, and word of them had spread throughout the office.
The invitation to participate in a White House roundtable discussion about cybersecurity in the black community in February 2023 was accepted by the mother and daughter duo.
“Sitting at this roundtable with all these prominent figures in cybersecurity around you, and you’re the youngest person, it was really amazing to know that my opinion was valued,” London said at the time. I was speaking about how teens aren’t taught cybersecurity. My school uses a computer, but I’ve never been taught how to use the internet safely. I have never heard anything like that from my school”.
“That goes into why this project is so important to us,” she said, “because it’s important for kids to understand that although the internet is an incredible tool, there are drawbacks because everyone can access it and not everyone uses it for good intentions. It was crucial to us that kids, particularly black kids, understood how to use the internet for good and be able to navigate it safely.
According to the book’s website, “The ABCs of Cybersecurity” and Hackman assisted the Oakland, California-based authors in forming alliances with businesses like Google, Blacks in Cybersecurity, and #ShareTheMicInCyber, a campaign to raise awareness of systemic racism in cybersecurity.
“When we announced at the White House that we were committing to writing the book on cybersecurity, there were so many different stakeholders at the table,” Claudia said.
“Hey, we’ll be happy to share our insight, talk to you, and kind of coach you through the development,” said some of the partners present. After departing and returning to California to conduct research, we contacted several organizations that requested that we give them a call.
Additionally, a cybersecurity game called “Hackman” will be released alongside the children’s book, offering a fresh way to engage readers.
Readers will be able to access the game by scanning a QR code on the back of the book. London shared the idea with Claudia, whose two sons are also big gamers.
Claudia added, “I hope that children can see themselves in cyberspace. I hope that they feel that by reading the book or interacting with the game, they can take ownership of their learning and their technology.”