Want a volunteer opportunity you can do from the comfort of your own home that will reassure you our future’s in good hands? Consider being a National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Aspirations in Computing (AiC) reviewer! The high school Award for Aspirations in Computing honors girls in 9th through 12th grade who are active and interested in computing and technology. There are also educator and collegiate awards.
As my role of coordinator for the New Hampshire affiliate of AiC, I get to help recognize some of the most amazing students in the Granite State. They are definitely young women I hope stay, work and play here. They are passionate, creative and altruistic. Reading through their applications gives me confidence that we have some very capable young leaders willing and able to solve problems and address both current and future challenges.
Many AiC award recipients have already created apps to improve people’s lives. Some have led programs to inspire other young women or become mentors in established programs. Others are thinking about ways to better use robots in disaster situations or have analyzed data to help address ethical and social issues.
Take Founders Academy student Sarah Fung, who says she was chosen to be an Aspirations in Computing Award recipient because of her dedication toward making the world a better place using technology.
“During my freshman year, I designed socially useful apps, including a digital eye health app that helps users remember when to take screen time breaks and follow the ophthalmologist recommended 20-20-20 rule,” Fung says. “Recently, I improved and submitted this app to the Congressional App Challenge.”
Fung is also planning to open a Google Play Store Account to make this and other apps accessible to the public. She also likes to share her passion with others and believes the Aspirations in Computing award has opened up opportunities for growth and allowed her to inspire more young women.
“Over the summer, I volunteered at an AspireIT summer program, CodeIT Girls, which teaches younger girls how to code. I had so much fun getting to know the kids and watching them learn and grow. I’m hoping to start up my own camp in my town next year.”
Being a reviewer is an opportunity to be as inspired by these applicants as I am. There are other ways to get involved regionally as well: participating on the awards event committee, hosting a meetup, offering internships, sharing information about your own tech journey or company, or encouraging students to apply for the award.
If you are interested in being involved, please contact Emily Kerr, email@example.com.
In her role as the STEM Discovery Lab Coordinator, Emily supports the collaborative effort between UNH Cooperative Extension and the UNH of Manchester 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.