Last night we held the Puerto Rico Award for Aspirations in Computing in partnership with the Georgia Tech College of Computing. In classic Georgia Tech fashion, the event was fabulous.
Hosted by the mayor and his wife at the scenic Parque de las Ciencias , Bayamon, PR (which was actually closed for renovation, but the mayor opened it just for this event), the Award winners and runners up were recognized in an outdoor ceremony which included an inspiring keynote speech by Bayamon mayor Ramón Luis Rivera, Jr , a bit of encouragement (and a bit of recruitment) from Georgia Tech College of Computing Assistant Dean of Outreach, Enrollment & CommunityCedric Stallworth, as well as a reception with a string quartet and copious amouts of food and drink.
Ten young women from around the island were recognized for their aspirations and achievements in computing. 2010-11 Educator Award recipient Claribel Perez presented the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Educator Award to Director Hedrian Ayuso Ponce from the Escuela Brigida Alvarez Rodriquez. Also on hand were representatives from University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez and University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras computer science departments.
Each of the Award recipients gave a short acceptance speech in which she detailed her achievements and future plans in technology. National Award winner Estafania Ortiz gave a short presentation on the TechChicks Android Application project that she is working on with 30 other past Aspirations Award recipients.
The evening ended as the sun set quite dramatically over the hills and the girls and families departed awards in hand with big smiles on their faces.