May 19, 2010

As part of an effort to encourage more young women to choose careers in technology, the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) will recognize 12 high school women for their accomplishments and aspirations in technology and computing.

The young women are winners of the Portland Affiliate NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing, which recognizes high-school women from the Portland metropolitan area for their computing-related achievements and interests. Each winner will receive an engraved award, an award for her school, $100 cash, and various prizes donated by local sponsors. The winners will be honored this evening in a celebration at the Ecotrust Center in downtown Portland.

Sponsors of the Portland Affiliate Award include Motorola, Microsoft, Google; as well as Boeing, Intel, Oregon Institute of Technology, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Oregon Pre-engineering and Applied Sciences Initiative (OPAS), Oregon State University, Portland State University, Saturday Academy, University of Oregon, and Xerox.

"Bringing more young women into computing and technology is vital to building Oregon's innovation engine,” said Bruce Schafer, Executive Director of the Engineering and Technology Industry Council. “OPAS is proud to be a part of recognizing these 12 young women and helping to encourage their continued interest in technology." 

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing was created to encourage the computing aspirations of young women, introduce them to leadership opportunities, and generate visibility for women’s participation in technology. Winners are acknowledged for their outstanding aptitude and interest in technology and computing, leadership experience, academic history, and plans for post-secondary education.

“With technology jobs projected to grow faster than all other job sectors in the next decade, it’s imperative that we nurture the computing aspirations of women, who will make up half the professional workforce,” said Lucy Sanders, CEO and Co-founder of NCWIT.  “Oregon’s support for this award allows us to recognize and encourage talent that might otherwise be overlooked.”

Following are the 2010 winners of the Portland Affiliate NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing:

  • Victoria Chen: Sunset High School, Portland, Oregon
  • McKenzie Griffin: Sherwood High School, Sherwood, Oregon
  • Polly Irungu: Tualatin High School, Tualatin, Oregon
  • Britney Johnson: Sherwood High School, Sherwood, Oregon
  • Emma Knight: Sherwood High School, Sherwood, Oregon
  • Sarah Lima: Reynolds High School, Troutdale, Oregon
  • Prianthi Prentice: Southridge High School, Beaverton, Oregon
  • Rashele Raber: North Salem High School, Salem, Oregon
  • Anugraha Rajendran: Tualatin High School, Tualatin, Oregon
  • Khue Tran: Benson Polytechnic High School, Portland, Oregon
  • Amy Wiegand: Wilsonville High School, Wilsonville, Oregon
  • Nina Yang: Tualatin High School, Tualatin, Oregon


NCWIT is the National Center for Women & Information Technology, a non-profit coalition of more than 200 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and nonprofits working to improve U.S. innovation, competitiveness, and workforce sustainability by increasing women's participation in IT and computing. Find out more at