AspireIT Middle School Outreach Program

AspireIT is a middle school outreach program that matches NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing recipients with participating not for profit  Academic Alliance, K-12 Alliance or Affinity Group Alliance members to create and run computing-related outreach programs for middle school girls — such as after-school programs, summer camps, clubs, or weekend conferences. Inspired by the desire of young women in computing to "pay it forward," AspireIT aims to employ a "near-peer" approach that provides middle school girls with a positive, sustained experience of learning and creating computing alongside their peers in high school and college. AspireIT is supported by Google, Intel, and Northrop Grumman. 

AspireIT Programs

The AspireIT program has awarded $226,000 to 70 programs since it began in 2013. These programs are in 23 states, reaching a diverse community of nearly 2,000 middle school girls providing as estimated 115,000 hours of instruction in computing and technology. Each program brings together an Aspirations in Computing recipient (currently high school or college aged young women) and a K-12 or Academic Alliance member.

For more information, please contact us

Learn more about the Programs

For Aspirations Alumnae

Application

The application period for grants is now closed. Please stay tuned for the next round of funding. To start preparing for your application, please check out the most recent Full-length application information and application preview (above). You can start looking for a partner and planning your program now so you will be ready to complete the application.

Eligibility

Grant funding is open to NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing recipients (from any year, including runners-up) working in partnership with a not for profit NCWIT Academic Alliance, K-12, or Affinity Group Alliance member organization. View tips on finding a partner or program leader.

For Potential Program Partners

Are you interested in partnering and empowering Aspirations in Computing recipients to be AspireIT Program Leaders to have their own program for Middle School Girls?  We would love to identify those interested and help assist our potential Program Leaders (Aspirations in Computing Award recipients) locate a partner close to where they would like to have programs prior to applying for funding.

If you are:

  • Familiar with the NCWIT AspireIT Program and the role of the Program/Fiscal Partner. Please be sure you have reviewed the RFP and have read and are able to fulfill the role of the Program/Fiscal Partner.
  • A not for profit organization.
  • A current NCWIT Academic, K-12, or Affinity Group alliance member.
  • You have local contact info for each geographic area you are interested in potentially having a program in.

Then you are ready to register as a potential partner! Thank you for your support and dedication to this exciting program.

General questions? Please email us.

Find more information on NCWIT Alliances.

For Current NCWIT AspireIT Program Leaders

Congratulations on receiving funding for your NCWIT AspireIT middle school outreach program! You are making a huge impact on middle school girls lives and helping them to explore the possibilities of computing in a positive, unique girl environment.

Top 5 ways to make the most of your program:

1. By working together with your Program/Fiscal Partner. You are the main contact for NCWIT and Program Leader. However, your partner is there to help empower you along the way and serve as your fiscal agent. You may consider meeting regularly to discuss progress and goals along with anything else you may need adult support on. Having an AspireIT program is a huge accomplishment but it is also a big undertaking- don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it.

2. Utilize the resources available. Join the AspireIT Program Leaders Facebook Group and toolkit can assist you to help you shape your program. Do you need sample forms or program implementation ideas? It’s in the toolkit! Do you have curriculum, sample forms, recruitment ideas or more that you’d like to share? Post it in the group and share it with others!

3. Promote your program and be sure the information that NCWIT has for your program is accurate (date, website, photos, etc.).  Is the AspireIT logo on your sponsor page of your website? Are you using the AspireIT digital badge? Do you need sample posters, flyers, press release, etc. Check out the media kit and other tools in the toolkit. Have you had any media coverage? Please be sure to send it to NCWIT aspireit@ncwit.org so we can track your successes!

4. Pre and Post Program Tasks. If you are a new program, be sure to have your orientation aspireit@ncwit.org . When you have completed your program we have a special survey for each population involved to complete (a survey for you, one for your program partner, and one for your middle school participants to take towards the end of program) and final report for you to fill out.  We will also be asking for your media waivers and participant info (you collected the first week), your photos, info on any publicity your program got and your final budget info. This will help us measure the success of the AspireIT programs and plan for future programs. You will want to make sure these tasks are complete before applying for future funding.

5. Consider succession planning- We have already had many programs come back for additional funding to be able to provide more programs to girls! You can continue to apply for funding as long as you’d like to have your program. When you are ready to move on from leading the program and if you are interested in leaving a legacy, consider mentoring a future program leader to take over your program. If you don’t know any Aspirations in Computing Alumna- encourage your younger peers to apply so that they are eligible to be a program leader. In the short time we’ve had AspireIT we’ve already seen great success in this area. Examples: One program partner is working with three different program leaders to have three unique program tracks for middle school girls in Virginia. Another team in Oregon has decided to have a level one and level two program. Great ideas and partnerships happening!

Download the toolkit now.

People Involved: 

Ruthe Farmer

Chief Strategy & Growth Officer
NCWIT

Jennifer Manning

AspireIT Program Manager
NCWIT

Lauren Von Roenn

Program Operations Manager
NCWIT

Ammi Ludwick

Aspirations in Computing Program Director
NCWIT