NCWIT and Bank of America Honor Thirty-five High School Women as Technology and Computing Innovators

Publication Date: 06/03/2015

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing advances gender diversity in computing fields by encouraging high school women to excel in computing and study technology.
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and Bank of America selected 35 high school women as national winners of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing, an award recognizing young women for their outstanding aptitude and interest in computing, proven leadership ability, academic performance, and plans for post-secondary education.
These 35 young women will be honored at a Bank of America Technology Stars of the Future Showcase & Awards Ceremony on March 7, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The schedule of events includes mentoring and networking sessions, a technology expo, and remarks from workforce representatives on real-life examples of computing applications. Each award recipient will also receive $500 cash, a laptop computer, and two engraved trophies – one for her and for her school.  
“We eagerly look forward to the wide-ranging innovations, solutions, and creations that only these amazing young women could bring to the technology design table,” said Lucy Sanders, NCWIT CEO and Co-founder. “This encouraging award program has a profound effect on a young woman’s decision to persist in computing, consequently producing a more competitive and diverse workforce. NCWIT is proud to partner with Bank of America in recognizing this outstanding group of technical young women and encouraging them to pursue technology careers.”
While girls and women in the U.S. are avid users of technology, they are significantly underrepresented in its creation. Women represent just 19% of all AP computer science test-takers and account for only 18% of computer and information sciences undergraduate degree recipients. ( Through the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing program, more than 83% of participants report a college major or minor in traditionally male-dominated STEM fields.
“The partnership with NCWIT and the Aspirations program is a key component of our commitment to encourage young women to pursue STEM programs and consider careers in technology,” said Denise Menelly, Bank of America Shared Services Operations executive and sponsor of the bank’s Women in Technology & Operations advocacy group. “These are the technology innovators of the future and we are seeing firsthand the importance and impact of these efforts and this program.  We are truly honored to recognize this next generation of outstanding technologists.”
The following recipients are the 2015 winners of the prestigious NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing:

Aleida Olvera: Brownsville, Texas, Veterans Memorial High School
Alicia Purdum: Glenwood City, Wisconsin, Homeschooled
Alka Pai: Redmond, Washington, STEM High School
Ana Hernandez: Los Angeles, California, Foshay Learning Center
Angela Chen: Arlington, Texas, Martin High School
Ashley Loberger: Hillsboro, Oregon, Hillsboro High School
Daniela Markazi: South Barrington, Illinois, Barrington High School
Darartu Gamada: Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, Breck School
Emily Oleisky: Owings Mills, Maryland, Garrison Forest School
Gili Rusak: Loudonville, New York, Shaker High School
Ilona Bodnar: Oakland, California, Piedmont High School
Jessica Ivie: West Jordan, Utah, Cooper Hills High School
Jessica (Yiyue) Xiang: Mason, Ohio, William Mason High School
Joy Hsu: Cypress, California, Oxford Academy
Kathleen D’Souza: Portage, Michigan, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center
Kiana Dyson: Bronx, New York, Bronx High School of Science
Laan ‘Rainbow’ Yeung: West Lafayette, Indiana, West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School
Lauren Cook: Charlotte, North Carolina, Phillip O. Berry Academy Of Technology
Maria DeAngelis: Santa Barbara, California, Santa Barbara Senior High School
Mary McIntosh: Longwood, Florida, Lake Brantley High School
Megan Charity: Richmond, Virginia, Deep Run High School
Meghana Gudur: Alpharetta, Georgia, Woodward Academy
Natalia Pacheco: San Juan, Puerto Rico, University High School
Natalie Reed: Marlborough, Massachusetts, Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School
Paige Torres: Los Lunas, New Mexico, School of Dreams Academy
Patricia Beekman: Charlotte, North Carolina, North Carolina School Of Science and Math
Patricia Edou: Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Oak Ridge High School
Sarah Darrow: Huntsville, Alabama, Huntsville High School
Sharon Chen: Palo Alto, California, Henry M. Gunn High School
Sonia Appasamy: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Fox Chapel Area High School
Sophia Sanchez-Maes: Las Cruces, New Mexico, Mayfield High School
Sophie Fisher: Broomall, Pennsylvania, Agnes Irwin School
Stephanie Batarseh: Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, Bergen County Academies
Valerie Chen: Centreville, Virginia, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Valerie Ding: Portland, Oregon, Catlin Gabel School

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing is a multi-tiered competition that includes recognition at the national level (sponsored by Bank of America) and at the local level (sponsored by Microsoft), serving 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. With the support of Microsoft, NCWIT will also recognize winners and runners-up at 60 regional affiliate award ceremonies nationwide.
In addition to Bank of America and Microsoft, the Aspirations in Computing program is supported nationally by AT&T, Bloomberg, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Northrop Grumman, and the Symantec Corporation. Find out more at
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a non-profit community of more than 600 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
NCWIT receives significant financial support from 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
About Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 48 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,800 retail banking offices and approximately 15,800 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 31 million active users and approximately 17 million mobile users. Bank of America is among the world’s leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
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