Wyoming Nonprofits: The Bootstraps of Our Economy and Community

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Wyoming Nonprofits: The Bootstraps of Our Economy and Community

In the rugged and vast landscapes of Wyoming, the spirit of independence and self-reliance is woven into the very fabric of our communities. The popular saying, “pull yourself up by your bootstraps,” resonates deeply with many who call this state home. However, while this independent spirit is admirable, it can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation, especially when challenges arise that are too great to handle alone. This is where the essential role of nonprofit organizations comes into play. These nonprofits are not just safety nets; they ARE the bootstraps that empower our citizens and bolster our economy and community.

The Power of Community Support

Nonprofit organizations in Wyoming provide critical support across a broad spectrum of needs, from mental health services and food assistance to educational programs and cybersecurity training. They embody the community’s collective strength, offering resources and support to individuals who might otherwise feel alone in their struggles.

It’s important to acknowledge that while the ethos of self-reliance is valuable, it must be balanced with the recognition that everyone needs help at times. Mental health, in particular, can suffer in an environment where asking for assistance is seen as a weakness. Nonprofits in Wyoming are acutely aware of this delicate balance and work tirelessly to create an inclusive atmosphere where seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

CyberWyoming and the CyberWyoming Alliance: The Cybersecurity Bootstraps

Among the many nonprofits making a difference in Wyoming, CyberWyoming and the CyberWyoming Alliance stand out as the cybersecurity bootstraps for our businesses, citizens, senior citizens, educators, and students. In an increasingly digital world, cybersecurity is a fundamental necessity.

CyberWyoming recognizes this and has made it their mission to ensure that our business community and the workforce around it is equipped to handle the complex challenges of the digital age.

The Made Safe Program and Technical Professional Apprenticeship

CyberWyoming’s Made Safe Program focuses on two areas. Firstly, we offer tailored, non-technical security training for micro companies lacking IT support, emphasizing behavior change and risk management. Secondly, we train Economic Development Agency advisors as Cybersecurity Business Counselors to integrate cybersecurity into client services.

Wyoming’s Cybersecurity Competition for Small Business:  Based on the Made Safe Program, the annual competition, running from February to August, is a free, one-on-one, on-the-job, human and risk focused training for small organizations. Winners earn speaking slots at CyberWyoming Alliance’s annual cybersecurity conference. The Made Safe in Wyoming Program and the Competition are supported by CyberWyoming’s members and sponsors.

Cybersecurity Business Counselor Apprenticeship for Micro Business Advising:  CyberWyoming’s training program helps business consultants adopt cybersecurity practices via a LEARN-PRACTICE-DO approach, including online modules, virtual training, and hands-on experience, enhancing confidence. A Department of Labor-approved Registered Apprenticeship grants a certificate of mastery.

Business Notifications: A free and convenient service for businesses to inform and protect themselves, including information about national and local scams, critical updates and emerging threats like fake direct deposit and gift card scams.

Free No Think Security Awareness Training Programs for Small Business: Free, user-friendly security awareness plans for small businesses which include hanging monthly posters, sending weekly emails, conducting fun activities during staff meetings, and showing short videos with discussion questions. These resources aim to enhance the security culture within companies, even without technical support.

Technical Professional Apprenticeship: Registered apprenticeship with the Department of Labor for IT Specialist and Cybersecurity Technician occupations to support Wyoming business needs for reliable security advice.

CyberWyoming Alliance Empowering Citizens, Students, and Senior Citizens

CyberWyoming Alliance extends its reach beyond businesses to individual citizens, students and educators, and senior citizens. With the rise of cyber threats targeting the most vulnerable populations, this organization provides essential education and resources to help everyone stay safe online. Through our programs and annual conferences open to all citizens, the CyberWyoming Alliance ensures that all community members, regardless of age, have the knowledge and tools to protect themselves from cyber threats.

Citizen and Senior Citizen Awareness

Hacker’s Brief:  The Hacker’s Brief is a weekly publication of scams reported by Wyomingites to alert their friends, family, and neighbors.

Senior Fraud Alert Flyers: Content provided to Wyoming AARP and the Wyoming Division of Aging to reach 2/3 of the State’s senior centers & senior meal delivery programs.

Student and Educator Programs

Cyber in a Box School Video Challenge: An annual challenge to Wyoming students to create a cyber safety topic, later distributed by the Wyoming State Library.

Lego Attack and Defense Model: Wyoming teachers can borrow Lego Attack and Defense models for a semester bringing hands[1]on cybersecurity education into classrooms.

Teens Exploring Careers: The TEC Camp, featuring a murder mystery over intellectual property and a mock hospital theater with real software impaired by ransomware, provides a free experiential curriculum for schools, colleges and universities.

Teacher Resources: In partnership with the Wyoming Department of Education’s CTE Division, we connect Wyoming educators to national cyber and tech teaching resources, compiling what we know on one webpage so teachers can pick from the lot.

Building a Resilient Community

The work of CyberWyoming and the CyberWyoming Alliance exemplifies the broader impact of nonprofit organizations in Wyoming. They are not just providing temporary relief or stopgap solutions; they are building a resilient community capable of standing strong against adversity. These organizations, through their dedication and expertise, act as the true bootstraps of our society, lifting us all up and enabling us to face the future with confidence.

Wyoming’s nonprofits are the lifeblood of our community, embodying the spirit of self-reliance while ensuring that no one faces their challenges alone. CyberWyoming and the CyberWyoming Alliance are shining examples of how nonprofits can lead the way, offering critical support and resources to keep our community safe and thriving in the digital age. Together, they reinforce the idea that while we may strive to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, it’s the strength and support of our community that truly enables us to rise.


Please consider CyberWyoming Alliance for WyoGives, July 10, 2024.  Help us keep cybersecurity bootstraps strong.  https://www.wyogives.org/organizations/cyberwyoming-alliance  This year we are fundraising for semi-annual MAGIC Cybersecurity Puzzle Challenge funding for Wyoming students to participate in this fun and educational event as well as shipping costs to send the LEGO suitcases to teachers across the state free of charge.


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