#iAspire, My Experience with the Aspirations in Computing Award

In my senior year of high school (2015-2016), I won the National Center for Women and Information Technology Aspirations in Computing Award for Connecticut. This award is given to young women in high school who show an active interest and/or involvement with computing. I wasn't really interest in computer science at the time, at least not the way it was taught as school, but I did a lot of STEM outreach through Girl Scouts. I wrote about that outreach, which was also my Gold Award project that was in progress at the time. I knew I wanted to go into electrical engineering, because of multiple summer camps in previous years where I fell in love with hardware, but because of my computer science class, I had my doubts.

By earning this award I knew that people believed in me and my passion for education and STEM. I was also introduced to a vast community of people from different backgrounds with a thing in common, code and STEM. Being in the community offered a space for information and support from other women going through similar situations. I also found out that everyone has a favorite coding language, and Java/Javascript wasn't mine. I love Arduino/C++ and programming hardware. Software alone just wasn't for me.

Since then, I have earned the Presidential Volunteer Service Award twice for over 250 hours of volunteering in the field of STEM education during the course of a year. I have my own STEM outreach curriculum that I use and add to whenever I have an event. I am the Community Outreach chair for the Society of Women Engineers on campus, but I also plan several outreach events for students in K-12 on my own.  I am currently a Sophomore Electrical Engineering student.

As a part of earning the award or being a woman in STEM/Computing I was able to join a fantastic community of young women through NCWIT. On Facebook we are able to connect about issues that are important to us, get feedback and advice on anything, and find out about events and opportunities that can help further our careers.

If you are in high school, I encourage you to apply for the award. It's something you can keep on your resume and it can introduce you to a world of opportunities with NCWIT and the NCWIT community. It doesn't take a lot of time and it is well worth all the effort to join.

I want to see more women in computing and STEM, but not because "we need more women in STEM". I want to see more people in STEM, regardless of sex, gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, or anything else. I want to see more people in STEM because it is fun and it is more fun with friends. Technology builds the world around us now, and you should be curious about how it works and why.

Never Stop Making
Rebecca the Maker

This post is not sponsored nor does it contain affiliate links.
If you would like to apply for the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing award, you may use the following link : http://bit.ly/iAspireToApply


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