Announcing the Sixth Annual Minnesota Aspirations in Computing Award Recipients
Minnesota Aspirations in Computing Partnership To Host 6th Annual Awards for Young Women Technologists
ST. PAUL, Minn., March 27, 2018 (Newswire.com) - As part of an ongoing effort to address the growing decline in diversity and inclusion in computing careers, the Minnesota Aspirations in Computing (MNAiC) partnership with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is hosting its 6th Annual Aspirations in Computing Awards Ceremony on April 17th. The program is designed to recognize young women with outstanding achievements in computing and interests in technology while introducing them to education and career development resources.
Russell Fraenkel, with the Minnesota State IT Center of Excellence has this to say about the Minnesota Aspirations in Computing (AiC) Program. “Over the past six years, more than 200 young women from Minnesota high schools have been recognized for their technical skills and interests, as well as their effective use of technology to solve a host of community and social issues. The 2018 class of Aspirations honorees is an especially impressive group of young women."
Over the past six years, more than 200 young women from Minnesota high schools have been recognized for their technical skills and interests, as well as their effective use of technology to solve a host of community and social issues. The 2018 class of Aspirations honorees is an especially impressive group of young women.
Russell Fraenkel, Director of IT Career Pathways and Partnerships
According to the 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of women pursuing computer and information science degrees is below 20%, a trend that has been declining for 30 years. This trend impacts the representation of women, especially women of color in computing occupations; ultimately stymieing technology innovation, growth, and performance. The Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC) was created to acknowledge and cultivate the technology interests of young women, introduce them to leadership opportunities, and generate visibility for women’s participation in computing-related pursuits in an effort to address these troubling trends.
Aside from the Annual Awards Ceremony, MNAiC leads multiple initiatives throughout the year to connect students and young women to a supportive community of tech professionals and resources. Among their key strategies this year are the #MNGirlsDisruptTech, Strength In Numbers, and Where Are They Now campaigns, as well as the SPARCS (Sustaining Passion, Ambition and Resolve for Career Success) program which provides technology education, networking, and mentor support throughout the year.
Among those honored this year are:
- Concetta Knipe and Marie Pena (Apple Valley High School)
- Abigail Roh (Breck School - Golden Valley)
- Fiona Chow (Burnsville High School)
- Christine Ohenzuwa, Daryl Yap, and Gabrielle Hill (DeLaSalle High School - Minneapolis)
- Grace Hansen, Madeline Sandish, Erica Broeker, and Anusha Sharma (Eagan High School)
- Leah Restad and Sailaja Bommareddy (East Ridge High School - Woodbury)
- Aarathi Garimella (Edina High School)
- Ava Masse (Eden Prairie High School)
- Emilia Hidalgo (Great River School - St. Paul)
- Katelyn France (Hinckley-Finlayson High School)
- Zoe Berg (Lakeville South High School)
- Tessa Machado (Mankato East High School)
- Stuti Arora (Maple Grove Senior High School)
- Grace Su and Rose Lam (Mounds View High School)
- Shaza Hussein, Kaitlin Pierce, Victoria Pierce, and Tracey Treat (Rosemount High School)
- Ayantu Hundessa and Claire Jensen (South High School - Minneapolis)
- Rachel Springer (Southwest High School - Minneapolis)
- Sabrina Rucker (St. Paul Academy)
- Anika Ahluwalia, Ankita Kundu, Caroline Zeng, Shin-Tsz Kuo, and Preeti Pidatala (Wayzata High School)
Bestowed awards include: participation in the prestigious awards ceremony on April 17, scholarships to attend Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, and other post-secondary schools, tech devices, special company gifts, cash prizes, and job shadowing opportunities. Eight honorees will earn the grand prize; a paid summer I.T. internship at program sponsor companies - SPS Commerce, Land O’Lakes, PeopleNet and HelpSystems.
Special thanks to Champion Partner STEM Fuse, and Pillar Partners, Best Buy, Land O’lakes, Maverick Software Consulting, Upper Midwest Security Alliance, SPS Commerce, and Target for their generous financial contributions. Visit the Minnesota Aspirations in Computing page to appreciate the “Strength in Numbers” support provided by an impressive coalition of Minnesota businesses and organizations.
For more information, contact Russell Fraenkel, MN Aspirations Committee, at (651) 253-9438 or email@example.com.
About Minnesota State IT Center of Excellence
Formerly known as Advance IT Minnesota, the MN State – IT Center of Excellence engages employers, educators, technology professionals and learners to develop a more robust IT workforce in Minnesota. A Center of Excellence within the Colleges and Universities of Minnesota State (formerly MnSCU), it is located at Metropolitan State University, St. Paul Midway campus. For more information, visit www.advanceitmn.org.
About National Center for Women & Information Technology
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a coalition of over 700 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and nonprofits working to improve U.S. innovation, competitiveness and workforce sustainability by increasing women’s participation in information technology (IT). To find out more, visit www.ncwit.org.
Source: Minnesota Aspirations in Computing