Award for Aspirations in Computing: Oregon Regional Affiliate Celebration

On Sunday, March 6, NCWIT held the Oregon and SW Washington Region Affiliate Award Celebration for the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing.

Twenty regional winners were recognized, and one national winner who is from Oregon also was honored. In addition NCWIT presented two National Educator Awards to Oregon teachers who have demonstrated strong, positive involvement in encouraging their female computer science students.

The teachers are recognized for involvement in classes and school programs that provide opportunities to girls pursuing computer science education.

The event was held at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Keynote speakers were Amethyst O'Brien from Google, and Tamsen Galloway of ViaWest. Both women spoke about "Women in Technology: What I Wish I'd Known Coming Out of High School." They focused largely on networking, and encouraged the students to make connections at this ceremony and to keep in touch through college and as they entered the workforce.

As a new Oregon resident and NCWIT's Community Manager, I was excited to attend my first such ceremony and meet the girls who've shown such passion for and excellence in computing, technology, and robotics at their schools and in their communities.  I snapped a few photos with my iPhone (so, forgive the lack of flash where it's probably needed a few times), and took some photos of the crowd before the ceremony, the girls meeting and talking to the event sponsors (including local colleges and universities), and the ceremony itself.

Twenty girls from across the state of Oregon were recognized for their excellence in computing. Most are members of their school's FIRST Robotics team, and many have been programming and have been involved in various disciplines of computer science since elementary and middle school.

Pictured below are the girls proudly with their awards, presentation of awards to a couple of winners, and the teachers who attended the event and were recognized for their involvement and mentorship in these students' lives and education.

This is my first time through the process for the Award for Aspirations in Computing. I'm thrilled to have been a part of this particular affiliate ceremony, and can't wait to see what these super smart and incredibly inspiring women go on to do in their futures.