NCWIT Announces the Winners of the 2013 Award for Aspirations in Computing!

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The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and sponsor Bank of America are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2013 NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing, which recognizes high school girls for their aspirations and achievements in computing and technology.

The Award for Aspirations in Computing is part of an NCWIT talent development program that encourages young women to succeed in technology. Despite their advances in academia and the workforce, women are disproportionally underrepresented in computing fields: they hold only 25 percent of all technology occupations, earn 18 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in computing, and represent just 19 percent of all Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science test-takers. By providing young women with visibility, community, leadership opportunities, support, research experiences, scholarships, and internships, the Aspirations in Computing program encourages young women to persist in a field where women traditionally have been underrepresented.

The 35 winners were selected from more than 1,800 applications from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and overseas U.S. military bases. Each winner will receive $500 cash, a laptop computer, an engraved award for both her and her school, and mentoring opportunities with Bank of America employees. The winners will be honored with a ceremony at Bank of America’s headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, on March 9, 2013.

Bank of America sponsors the national Award for Aspirations in Computing; local affiliate awards are sponsored by Microsoft, the Motorola Solutions Foundation, and Google, with additional support from more than 300 local organizations.

“When Bank of America began sponsoring this award in 2008, we had fewer than 200 applicants; this year we had more than 1,800," said Debbie Guild, Bank of America Enterprise Chief Technology Office Global Desktop and Electronic Communications executive, and executive sponsor for the company's Women in Technology and Operations diversity group. "This amazing growth represents the future of technology - a future where women are fully represented on the teams creating technical solutions for our clients. This representation will ensure we have diverse solutions for diverse consumers."

Since 2007, the Award for Aspirations in Computing has recognized more than 1,300 young women; 88 percent of Award recipients currently in college report majoring or minoring in a science or technology field. Aspirations Award-winners have visited the White House, worked for Disney Research, been selected as Windows 8 testers, studied the impact of One Laptop Per Child, been invited to speak at LEGO headquarters in Denmark, built robotic prosthetics in a university lab, interned at top tech companies, won other computing and STEM accolades and scholarships, and more.

“Research tells us that girls often lose interest in math and science at the grade-school level, and that encouragement and support can have a huge impact on their career decisions,” said Lucy Sanders, CEO and co-founder of NCWIT. “We hope that by announcing the winners during Computer Science Education Week, we’ll inspire others to recognize the importance of diversity in building a strong and innovative technical workforce.”

Following are the 2013 national winners of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing:

  • Charell Adagala, Silver Spring, Maryland, Springbrook High School
  • Sarah Aladetan, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, Park Center Senior High School
  • Taylor Andrews, Louisville, Colorado, Monarch High School
  • Alicia Bishop, Brandon, Florida, Middleton High School
  • Allison Collier, Fredericksburg, Virginia, Massaponax High School
  • Royce Cook, North Augusta, South Carolina, North Augusta High School
  • Calista Frederick-Jaskiewicz, Wexford, Pennsylvania, Western Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School
  • Noa Glaser, San Diego, California, Torrey Pines High School
  • Krista Holden, Bremerton, Washington, Central Kitsap High School
  • Keva Howe, Belen, New Mexico, School of Dreams Academy
  • Janae Hoyle, Powder Springs, Georgia, Wheeler High School
  • Aneesha Kommineni, Austin, Texas, Westwood High School
  • Kristen Law, West Bloomfield, Michigan, Bloomfield Hills Andover High School
  • Hui Shi Li, San Francisco, California, Balboa High School
  • Melanie Llanos, Greensboro, North Carolina, Philip J. Weaver Education Center
  • Savannah Loberger, Hillsboro, Oregon, Hillsboro High School
  • Svetlana Marhefka, Westfield, New Jersey, Mount Saint Mary Academy
  • Karen Miller, Cedar City, Utah, Success Academy
  • Jiwon Park, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Homestead Senior High School
  • Vanessa Pena, Altamonte Springs, Florida, Lake Brantley High School
  • Catherine Pollock, Reno, Nevada, Damonte Ranch High School
  • Crystal Qian, Overland Park, Kansas, Blue Valley Northwest High School
  • Kendall Ronzano, Santa Cruz, California, York School
  • Camille Rucker, Exeter, New Hampshire, Phillips Exeter Academy
  • Reinie Thomas, Portage, Michigan, Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center
  • Sarah Tortorici, Brooklyn, New York, Hunter College High School
  • Chinedum Uche, West Hartford, Connecticut, Greater Hartford Academy of Math and Science
  • Madeleyne Vaca, Stone Mountain, Georgia, Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
  • Kara Vaillancourt, Hamilton, Virginia, Loudoun Valley High School
  • Abril Vela, Chicago, Illinois, Northside College Preparatory High School
  • Lavanyadevi Venkatesan, Sugar Land, Texas, Clements High School
  • Sravya Vishnubhatla, Louisville, Kentucky, Dupont Manual High School
  • Veronica Wharton, Lexington, Massachusetts, Lexington High School
  • Lauryn Woodyard, New Albany, Ohio, New Albany High School
  • Sarah Zelley, Cambridge, Vermont, Essex Junction Regional Tech Center

We are also pleased to recognize 275 National Runners Up for their outstanding achievements and interest in computing and IT. View a map of the awardees here

For more information about the Aspirations in Computing program please visit www.aspirationsaward.org or the NCWIT press page.