March 3, 2012, the Bay Area Aspirations Award Ceremony took place at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. Parents, teachers, supporters, and of course, the girls, filled the environment with smiles. The day was gorgeous, and the California sunshine definitely attended the event, too. Anyone could sense the excitement of the girls who were finally being told Good Job, Keep Going, You’re Doing Great, You Can.
I made the drive up from Cal Poly to attend the event as a panelist. My enthusiasm for NCWIT and the Aspirations Award comes from the positivity NCWIT has instilled in me. I was an award winner in 2011, and because of the luncheon I attended, my passion for computing grew. Ultimately NCWIT was the reason I became excited and outspoken about my decision to major in Computer Science. In a male-dominated field, NCWIT paves the way for something special.
As the girls walk up to receive their award, a short bio is read. This bio includes where they go to school, their interests in computing, and their accomplishments. I was so excited to hear about their aspirations, but I wasn’t prepared to hear their accomplishments. My jaw dropped. These high school girls are amazing- from starting their own web design businesses to passing the AP Computer Science exam in elementary school to organizing outreach events.
These girls are awesome. These girls are pioneers. These girls aren’t afraid to step into a growing world of technology, and NCWIT is there to support them. The amount of progression we have made as women in the computing industry should serve as a fair warning for the world to prepare for more. These girls mix their creativeness, compassion, artistic abilities, and their drive together to have a voice in technology. We aren’t helpless. We are helpful, growing, and empowered.
I am inspired by these girls, the panelists, and everyone in attendance of the event. We will all be eager to see not where their paths take them, but where they pave their own off-trail paths and change the world.