35 High School Women Win Leading Technology Award

Award from National Center for Women & Information Technology and Bank of America advances gender diversity in computing fields

BOULDER, COLO. (December 17, 2013) – The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and Bank of America have selected 35 female high school students as winners of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing, an award that recognizes young women for their outstanding aptitude in computing and technology.

The 35 national winners were selected from among more than 2,300 applicants, representing all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and overseas military bases. Each award winner will receive $500 cash, a laptop computer, and an engraved plaque for both for her and her school. The young women will be honored at a Bank of America Technology Stars of the Future Showcase & Awards Ceremony on March 15, 2014, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“We are honored to recognize the next generation of technologists. Gender diversity in technology and operations drives innovation, strengthens the overall economy, and improves our business,” said Denise Menelly, Bank of America Shared Services Operations executive and sponsor of the bank’s Women in Technology & Operations employee advocacy group. “Bank of America’s investment in the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing program has been instrumental in creating a robust, prestigious nationwide program filled with technology innovators of the future. I look forward to meeting these amazing young women in March.”

"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,” said Lucy Sanders, CEO and Co-founder of NCWIT. “With the Department of Labor predicting 1.4 million computing jobs in the U.S. workforce by 2020, it’s critical that we capitalize on this untapped talent pool and set these young women on the path to taking a seat at the technical design table."

Women are disproportionally under-represented in computing fields, despite their advances in academia and the workforce: although they comprise 54 percent of all Advanced Placement (AP) test-takers and earn 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees, women represent just 19 percent of all AP Computer Science test-takers and account for only 18 percent of bachelor’s degrees in computer and information sciences.

Since 2007, the Award for Aspirations in Computing has recognized more than 2,200 young women; more than 71 percent of the recipients currently in college report majoring or minoring in a traditionally male-dominated STEM field. The Award for Aspirations in Computing is a component of NCWIT Aspirations in Computing, a talent development initiative designed to increase female participation in technology by providing structured, long-term engagement and support from middle school through high school and from college into the workforce. Aspirations in Computing is supported nationally by AT&T, Bank of America, Bloomberg, and Microsoft.

Following are the winners of the national 2014 NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing:

  • Safia Abdalla: Chicago, Illinois, Northside College Preparatory High School
  • Gabriela Avila: Mission, Texas, Jimmy Carter High School
  • Sampurna Basu: Issaquah, Washington, Skyline High School
  • Blaire Bosley: Stone Mountain, Georgia, NIPA - Northeast Independent Preparatory Academy
  • Samantha Botros: Wichita, Kansas, The Doctors' Schoolhouse
  • Logan Brown: Eudora, Kansas, Lawrence Free State High School
  • Laurel Button: Ballwin, Missouri, Mary Institute & St. Louis Country Day School
  • Karina Carvajal: Los Angeles, California, James A. Foshay Learning Center
  • Pooja Chandrashekar: Potomac Falls, Virginia, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
  • Molly Cinnamon: Sherman Oaks, California, Harvard-Westlake School
  • Ananya Cleetus: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Upper St. Clair High School
  • Janay Clytus: Cape Coral, Florida, Mariner High School
  • Virginia Cook: New York, New York, Trinity School
  • Selena Feng: Crozet, Virginia, Albemarle High School
  • Marsha Ghose: New York, New York, The Bronx High School of Science
  • Kira Gobes: Holliston, Massachusetts, Advanced Math And Science Academy Charter School
  • Anvita Gupta: Scottsdale, Arizona, BASIS Scottsdale
  • Patricia Hanus: Fremont, Nebraska, Hanus Academy
  • Hadiya Harrigan: Lebanon, Ohio, The Seven Hills School
  • Lauren Hastings: St. Petersburg, Florida, Lakewood High School
  • Melissa Ivie: West Jordan, Utah, Copper Hills High School
  • Ama Koranteng: New Albany, Ohio, New Albany High School
  • Shrinithi Narayanan: Pleasanton, California, Amador Valley High School
  • Vicki Niu: Portland, Oregon, Lincoln High School
  • Alisha Saxena: Bellevue, Washington, Interlake High School
  • Caroline Schiavo: Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, Kent Place School
  • Genevieve Sertic: Portage, Michigan, Kalamazoo Area Math And Science Center
  • Sandra Soueid: Port Reading, New Jersey, Middlesex County Academy High School
  • Samantha Speer: Simpsonville, South Carolina, Southside High School
  • Gala Taylor: Durham, North Carolina, Durham Academy
  • Courtney Thurston: Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, Commonwealth Connections Academy
  • Hannah Tipperman: Devon, Pennsylvania, The Baldwin School
  • Taylor Torres: Los Lunas, New Mexico, School Of Dreams Academy
  • Jessica Wang: Austin, Texas, LASA High School
  • Carolina Zarate: Germantown, Maryland, Poolesville High School



The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a non-profit community of more than 450 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations nationwide working to increase women’s participation in computing and technology. NCWIT helps organizations more effectively recruit, retain, and advance girls and women in K-12 through college education, and from academic to corporate and startup careers. Find out more at http://www.ncwit.org.

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