Spring has sprung and around the country there are more than just flowers bursting onto the scene — we’re thrilled to be celebrating the newest winners of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing!
The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing recognizes young women at the high-school level for their computing-related achievements and interests. The Award is just one part of the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing program, which provides young women with visibility, community, leadership opportunities, support, research and work experiences, scholarships, and internships. By encouraging their continued interest in computing and providing them with support from educational and corporate institutions and a community of their peers, the Aspirations in Computing program is building a talent pipeline of women primed to enter technology careers.
If you’re wondering what kind of impact this Award has had since its inception, here’s a by-the-numbers look at the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing:
Since 2007 the Award has recognized more than 1,100 young women, including more than 400 so far this year.
The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing is now a national competition with 30 local affiliate competitions serving 28 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The 35 national winners of the 2012 NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing were selected from nearly 1,200 applications representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and several overseas U.S. military bases.
More than 300 partners and local sponsors help to support the Aspirations affiliate program with prizes, event planning, and volunteers; 27 academic institutions currently provide scholarships to Award-winners.
More than 88% of award recipients now in college report majoring in a male-dominated STEM field.
Aspirations winners are diverse: of the 2012 National Award winners, 28% are African American, 12% Latina, 10% Native American/Alaska Native, and 5% disabled; 23% attend low-income schools with a subsidized lunch program.
Better yet, take it from an award-winner in her own words:
“For me, winning the NCWIT award was the turning point in my education. Suddenly, I had a world of opportunity in front of me and a network of peers and professionals willing to give me advice and encourage me. I was told that I could do anything I set my mind to. I was acknowledged for the skills I possessed instead of being compared to state standards. I discovered what a broad field science and technology really is, and I had the opportunity to talk to people who were already in their careers and find out what they loved about their jobs. I even received advice on my college essay from a Disney Imagineer. Before I became a part of the NCWIT network, I didn’t even know that job existed!”
Since the beginning of the year Aspirations Award winners have been invited to the White House — twice, have been building an Android app thanks to a grant from the Motorola Mobility foundation, designed and printed their own hoodies and Yoga pants, and currently are creating and submitting videos for a contest where the prizes include iPads and an Xbox Kinect game pack. We celebrated the national winners in an award ceremony at sponsor Bank of America’s headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, and we’ve celebrated local affiliate winners in Indiana, Arizona, Southern Florida, El Paso (not New Mexico), Georgia, Oklahoma, Arkansas, San Francisco Bay Area, Washington, Puerto Rico, Philadelphia, and Houston with 18 more to go. Check out the Aspirations Award page at our website to get in on the action!
National Award Sponsor: Bank of America; National Affiliate Sponsors: Microsoft, Motorola Solutions Foundation, and Google; Additional Support: Defrag, Qualcomm, and Motorola Mobility Foundation