Join the competition of a lifetime on May 2, 2024. Where alumni who had the
spark to train hard can compete on the grandest stage of all: the Cisco-Athlon.

Hard work and the desire to push oneself to new limits define the greatest decathletes in the world—and our Networking Academy alums. Choosing to jump higher, throw farther, and run faster to attain a career in the digital field. It is with this backdrop that we excitedly announce our next Cisco Networking Academy Alumni Awards.

We encourage everyone to participate in this epic awards competition. A competition testing one’s strength, endurance, and agility to be recognized as the finest all-around digital professionals. And to prove that the great thinkers laying new forms of innovation aren’t limited to ancient Greece but among our alums who trusted Networking Academy with their education.

Two new awards

In addition to three awards returning from last year, the Changemaker, Rise Above, and Future Leader, there will be two new awards: the Protector and Social Visionary awards. Nominations open May 2 and close May 23 at 10 PM Pacific. An expert judging panel of Cisco executives will select winners and release names during a virtual awards event on June 27, 2024.

Alumni Awards categoriesChangemaker Award

Recognizes an individual who looks past the obvious to discover what’s possible. Someone who is grounded with fresh thoughts and ideas and delivers exciting technology-enabled changes to the status quo. A visionary who asks: What’s new? What’s next? What’s better?

Rise Above Award

Honors an individual who believes “going the distance” is never an option but a mantra. They have shown amazing perseverance to get from here (personally) to there (professionally). Meeting challenges head-on, overcoming hardship and adversity, and emerging as an inspirational individual.

Future Leader Award

Recognizes early-career technologist launching their career while making a splash in the digital arena. Already becoming a significant contributor to their team and organization, demonstrating leadership beyond their experience. Making them an incredible role model. (For nominee with less than three years of experience).

Protector Award

Honors a true next-generation professional. One who steps up and protects our digital world from the escalating effects of cybercrime. No bad actor is too smart for them to stand up against. No challenge is too difficult. They thrive in the realm of preservation.

Social Visionary Award

Celebrates a visionary whose equitable perspectives are driving real change. They use their technological expertise to forge new inroads where dead ends have existed. Believing the expedition toward digital empowerment shouldn’t be a leap but a step for all.​

What winners will receive?

Award winners will receive a Cisco-engraved champion gold medal and prizes that support the runner in all of us: Apple AirPods, Revo sports sunglasses, an iconic Nike Legacy 91 cap, and a key chain. Plus, one champion will be awarded the Break Free prize. This lucky winner will receive a three-day trip to New York City with an Ultimate VIP ticket to the Global Citizens Festival in Central Park. The festival, meant to inspire action to end poverty, offers an incredible artist lineup and a great opportunity for our chosen alum to mingle backstage with Cisco executives.

Runners competing on athletics track

A race to find all alums

cartoon person looking through binocularsPlease help us ensure that everyone can participate. Download and share these flyers with fellow students and academy colleagues to get the word out.

Also, follow us on Cisco Networking Academy social channels so this opportunity isn’t missed.

Preview award criteria for the Networking Academy Alumni Awards

And remember to nominate yourself from May 2-23, 2024!



Laura Quintana

Vice President and General Manager

Cisco Networking Academy