The Shine’s On: Cyber Ohana Project

Posted On 11/01/2021 by Bianca Soler

When Wilson Bautista Jr. left the military, he experienced a difficult transition into civilian life, like so many others. He recognized the strong demand for cybersecurity talent and alignment to Military values such as the passion to serve the greater good. These factors fueled his passion to help others like military vets, their spouses, transitioning workers, and now the unemployed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

From this passion, Bautista, a cybersecurity expert and bestselling author of Practical Cyber Intelligence, founded the Cyber Ohana Project. Created at the start of the pandemic, and now two years into operations, The Cyber Ohana Project provides scholarships and support for the aforementioned groups interested in going into the Cyber Security field. This developing non-profit provides full-service career transition including: technical training, certification, mentorship, career preparation, and placement support that focuses on like-minded professionals… especially those leaving the military.

“Our unique Ohana approach offers much more than just free training,” said founder Wilson Bautista Jr., “we offer a comprehensive one-stop resource to the scholarship recipients. We have a trainee portal where students can interact and share, a mentoring program, financial support resources, job placement assistance, and even some emotional support resources if needed.”

“Members from our first two groups, known as Cohorts, have successfully completed their training and we have already seen our first successful job placements,” mentioned Bautista, “and we will continue to assist graduates to find jobs in the field with the help of some of our corporate partners.” But, he added, “That is just the beginning. Our goal is to raise funds to change the lives of as many men and women as possible. In the military alone there are 200,000 service members who transition out annually.”

We invite Chamber members to support our cause by attending the upcoming Gala on November 13th at the Pasadena Yacht and Country Club benefitting the Cyber Ohana Project. Tickets are on sale on our website (under the events tab) and the cost is $100. Sponsorships are still available. This year’s theme is Luau and we will be serving up Mai Thai’s, an epic Hawaiian Buffet and dancing the hula with the area’s top Hawaiian dance troupe!

Bautista settled in St. Petersburg after leaving the military and found it to be a wonderful place to raise his family and start a business. He found St. Pete to be a welcoming city supportive of start ups and the entrepreneurial spirit, and has been able to take advantage of the first-rate networking opportunities and education offered through his membership with the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce.