NPower Stories: A Conversation with Elizabeth Lopez

Serving the Underserved Community: An Ongoing Series of NPower Stories of Diverse & Inclusive Education, Certification & Employment

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By Selena Templeton & Sean Martin

ITSPmagazine’s Sean Martin and Selena Templeton chat with Elizabeth Lopez, a graduate of NPower’s advanced Symantec Cyber Career Connection (SC3) program who is now a Security Operations Associate at KPMG.

NPower is a national nonprofit organization that helps launch digital careers for military veterans and young adults from underserved communities by teaching the digital and professional skills demanded by the marketplace. And 80% of NPower students get jobs or continue their education after the program.

Elizabeth shares her story that starts with a part-time job she took while in high school at a local library that had a learning section for adults and senior citizens. On breaks she would sit in on the computer courses, where she learned the basics, and when her shift was over, the teacher would teach her extra things. Eventually she started assisting him, and when he got sick and couldn’t work at the library any longer, they offered her the position to teach the basic class.

But how could she make a career out of this? No one in her family had any interest in or familiarity with computers or technology, so she had no guidance or role models. That’s when she discovered NPower and learned that for each specific topic she had learned, there was a full-blown career for it!

NPower’s cybersecurity program is a 24-week program with 14-week hands-on, in-class experience plus 12 weeks of paid internship. During her time there, she received her A+ certification (for Tech Fundamentals) and Network+, Security+ and Linux (for the Cyber Program), and interned for Citigroup’s vulnerability assessment team.

Joining the Cyber Program was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.... But I learned the importance of taking risks and that it’s ok to fail and then pick yourself back up.
— Elizabeth Lopez

Take a listen and get inspired by Elizabeth’s story!

Learn more about NPower here.

About Elizabeth Lopez

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Elizabeth Lopez is a graduate of NPower’s Symantec Cyber Career Connection (SC3) program, and is currently employed as a Security Operations Associate at KPMG.

She completed NPower’s Tech Fundamentals program and interned for Citigroup’s vulnerability assessment team and was exposed to the importance of early application testing.

Elizabeth earned her CompTIA A+, Linux+, Network+, and Security+ certifications and is currently pursuing her master’s in cybersecurity.

Find Elizabeth on LinkedIn.

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