Working mom of four ready for the front lines | Bismarck State College

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Working mom of four ready for the front lines



At age 21, Donna Hogue became a widow. She buried her young husband on her younger son’s first birthday, and moved home to her parents in Hebron, N.D. After a year, she started over, moving to Bismarck and working up to three part-time jobs at a time. 

Since that early heartbreak, Hogue has remarried, worked for the U.S. Postal Service and earned a medical transcriptionist degree. She and her husband had two more children and managed his extended military deployments. In 2017, Hogue enrolled in the BSC Cybersecurity and Information Technology program.

When she decided to leverage her husband’s G.I. Bill educational funding to return to school, she wasn’t sure what degree to pursue before she found her calling. While she had always liked computers, the greatest appeal of the Cybersecurity program was how it related to her family. “When I found out about cybersecurity, my first thought was about protecting my children.”

Now, at 42, Hogue is her family’s computer expert. She helps her aging father with his computer needs, even as she keeps a lockdown on her 11- and 12-year-old children’s Minecraft and Terraria download requests. She also works full time as a purchasing analyst while managing an average of 18 credits per semester and a busy family.

Her goal, according to her Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Scholarship application, is to teach her four children that no matter how old you are, it’s never too late to learn new things and better yourself. 

After graduation, Hogue would like to be on the front lines of the Cybersecurity field. “I want to look for exploits coming across the screen. I want to find the binary code that comes through and looks out of place — to see where and how it happens. What does it look like at the back door? When something comes through – I want to catch it.”


Cyber Scholarship Opportunities

Affordable Tuition and Scholarships Galore

Not only is BSC the most affordable college in North Dakota at about $4200/year, the BSC Foundation offers more than $400,000 in scholarships to students annually.

Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Scholarships

BSC educational partner Palo Alto Networks offers two cybersecurity scholarships annually of $2500 focused on recruiting women and diverse candidates in the program. 

Palo Alto Networks Scholarship Qualifications

• Woman or diverse candidate noting cybersecurity as interest area in application

• Minimum high school GPA of 2.5

• Second semester scholarship requires BSC GPA of 3.0
• FT or PT student with minimum of seven credits


Apply today at bismarckstate.edu/scholarships