Giving young women in computer science a boost

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2018 award recipients
2018 Aspirations in Computing Award recipients. Courtesy Photo

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We’ve all done it: Thought about applying for or pursuing something and then talked ourselves out of it. Maybe it was due to perceived time constraints or lack of confidence. It’s easy to let opportunities slip by, especially if there is no one offering an extra push. In these cases, encouragement can go a long way.

That’s why the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) is making it easier to encourage high school-age young women to apply for the Aspirations in Computing Award (AiC).

Past recipient helping with a girls coding program
Past recipient helping with a girls’ coding program. Courtesy Photo

Recipients of the award receive exclusive access to scholarships, internships, and job opportunities all across the nation, as well as prizes, trophies, and swag during a local ceremony in the spring. You can now use their Encourage a Student form to input a student’s information and NCWIT will reach out to them with information and reminders to apply.

Know a young woman involved in robotics? Or someone who is designing apps or teaching herself programming language? Perhaps you know a young woman who experiences barriers to technology but has worked hard to pursue computing aspirations despite those obstacles. Encourage her to apply!

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Aspirations in Computing, a celebration of women in tech. Courtesy Photo

Your encouragement can help a high school student get recognized for her passion and achievements. According to a past recipient, that recognition was a real “confidence booster” and inspired her to take on bigger challenges in tech and share her enthusiasm with younger students.

So, go on — give someone that extra push they need today. Applications close November 5.

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You can also help spread the word about Aspirations in Computing by sharing sample social media postsone-page info sheets, and posters for High School, Collegiate, and Educator awards.

Screen Shot 2018 03 12 at 9.57.49 PMIn her role as the STEM Discovery Lab Coordinator, Emily supports the collaborative effort between UNH Cooperative Extension and UNH Manchester of the STEM Discovery Lab located on the Manchester campus. Emily was an English as a Second Language and English Language Learner educator for youth and adults in the greater Manchester and Seacoast areas for over 8 years and was the project assistant for the GATE CITY Project (Getting All Teachers ESOL Certified in Two Years) at UNH Manchester from 2012 to 2015. Emily earned her B.A. in international studies from The Ohio State University and her M.Ed. in secondary education from UNH Manchester. She is the mother of two active teenage boys and loves spending time outdoors.

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