The 2014 NCWIT Summit on Women and IT begins Monday May 19th, in Newport Beach, California. This year’s summit plays host to some incredible speakers and workshops, and brings together more than 600 members from each of our alliances. One such group is the awardees and runners-up of our Award for Aspirations in Computing who will serve as AiC Summit Ambassadors. Twenty-six amazing young women were chosen to represent the Aspirations in Computing program and during the summit they will provide on-the-ground social media through a student’s perspective. They were chosen from a contest that asked them to write about their participation in the AiC community. Below are some excerpts from their submissions. These excerpts highlight just how meaningful it is for these young women to participate in the Aspirations program, and provide a glimpse at how bright the future is for women in information technology.
“I have met women through the Aspirations in Computing Facebook group who have faced tremendous hardships and obstacles during their studies and pursuits of CS. Hearing some of their stories, I am not sure that I would have been able to have been as strong or as brave as they were. Without a community like NCWIT, I fear that if it had been me, these obstacles would have halted my CS aspirations. These young women are my daily inspiration; they have inspired me to take action to keep things/issues like discrimination and sexism from happening in a school or work place environment.”
“Receiving my award gave me the confidence and support I needed to pursue my dreams. I started a career as a project manager and changed the way the whole company completed business. I used my knowledge, skills, and courage to approach the owner with a plan that could save time and energy while increasing profits. My ideas were implemented within months and the company saw great benefits. Being a runner-up in the computing science award scholarship made me realize I have the capability to change businesses and provided me with the push I needed to start being heard.”
“Starting with myself, the program has paved the way for me to meet future business partners, and other educated and amazing women. Not only have I been able to meet new best friends, but also I have met employers who can see potential in me through my determined nature of being successful in our technologically advancing world.”
“From playing around with circuit boards to going on fieldtrips to the Tech Museum, I have been exposed to the wonders of technology since a young age. Being recognized by NCWIT, however, has allowed me to develop my interest in CS into a true passion. NCWIT has further stimulated my curiosity in CS, enabled me to interact with other women interested in technology, and empowered me to take leadership with technology to improve our world.”
“Since winning the national award, I have only explored the world of computer science more. Last summer, I was an Enterprise Architect intern at The Coca-Cola Company where I worked on their freestyle vending machine interface. I participated in my university’s hackathon last semester and made a tutor finder web application for my school. This semester, I’m taking my first college level computer science class and am involved in my university’s Women in Computer Science club. I know I would not be a freshman in college studying Computer Science if it wasn’t for the Aspirations in Computing program.”
If you’re unable to join us at this year’s Summit, but are interested in the agenda, there are two ways to stay up to date on all the happenings. You can follow NCWIT on Twitter, and especically #NCWITsummit for regular updates. You can also view remarks by our esteemed special guests and speakers via our livestream.