Five dozen teenagers hunched over computers in a hotel conference room near Washington, decrypting codes, cleaning malware and fending off network intrusions to score points in the finals of a national cybersecurity contest.
Joey Griffiths grew up in the western New York town of Dunkirk and left home at 17. Now he’s 30 and working as a bill collector in Jackson Heights, Queens. He has bills of his own to pay. Says Griffiths: “I’m good at collections because I understand what they’re going through. Just surviving.”