3,371 Girls Engaged in Computing and Technology through NCWIT AspireIT, a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action

Publication Date: 23/06/2015

Apple and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) support NCWIT to expand the impact of the AspireIT program and provide computing access for low-income girls.
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) today announced significant progress towards its Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action for AspireIT: Early Computing Experience for Girls to engage 10,000 middle school girls in learning computing concepts by 2018. To date, NCWIT AspireIT has launched 115 programs, providing 130,992 hours of computing outreach and instruction to 3,371 K-12 girls in 23 states.
NCWIT AspireIT connects technical young women with K-12 girls interested in computing. Using a near-peer model, program leaders in high school and college teach younger girls programming fundamentals and computational thinking in fun, creative environments in partnership with community organizations. A full directory of active programs is available online.
“These talented program leaders combat gender stereotypes associated with computing, such as ‘girls aren’t good at math or technology,’ by serving as real-life examples of women in computing,” said NCWIT Chief Strategy and Growth Officer Ruthe Farmer. “We believe this positive effect of peer influence allows more girls to ‘see’ themselves in these technical roles and become inspired to pursue technology careers.”
Currently, just 25 states and the District of Columbia allow computer science to count as a math or science graduation requirement. Because boys get more informal opportunities for computing experience outside of school, this lack of formal computing education especially affects girls and many youth of color. (Find out more at www.ncwit.org/thefactsgirls).
NCWIT is pleased to announce that after more than a decade-long partnership, Apple recently deepened its relationship and became NCWIT’s Lifetime Partner, providing strategic and financial support for the entire Aspirations in Computing ecosystem, including the AspireIT initiative.
“These young women are the future of our industry. We’re thrilled to partner with NCWIT and be part of their effort to inspire and empower the innovators of tomorrow. Having a workforce that reflects the diversity of our customer base is critical to Apple, and we are excited about the possibilities ahead,” said Apple Vice President of Worldwide Human Resources Denise Young Smith.
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has joined the Commitment to Action for AspireIT to help extend the program’s reach in partnership with public housing authorities nationwide and provide computing access to the 485,000 girls residing in public housing.
“In this Information Age, opportunity is just a click on a keyboard away. HUD is proud to partner with NCWIT to provide talented girls with the skills and experiences they need to reach new heights and to achieve their dreams in the 21st century global economy,” said HUD Secretary Julian Castro.
Founding Commitment Partners include Intel, Northrop Grumman, Google, and Sphero. Find out more at www.ncwit.org/aspireit.  
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a non-profit community of more than 650 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations nationwide working to increase women’s participation in computing and technology. NCWIT equips change leaders with resources for taking action in recruiting, retaining, and advancing women from K–12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers. Find out more at www.ncwit.org.
NCWIT receives significant financial support from Lifetime Partner Apple, Strategic Partners NSF (the National Science Foundation), Microsoft, Bank of America, Google, and Intel, as well as from Investment Partners Avaya, Pfizer, Merck, AT&T, Bloomberg, and Hewlett-Packard. View all of NCWIT’s supporters at www.ncwit.org/about/supporters.
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