Talent Pipeline: Awards for Aspirations in Computing
1072_ 9/2/11 - Being the father of four daughters, Larry has a high interest in the National Center for Women in Information Technology. Ruthe Farmer, is the Director of Strategic Initiatives with NCWIT, which is a coalition of well over 250 organizations (corporations, K-12 organizations, universities) working together to increase women's participation in computing and IT. The program that Ruthe is talking about, NCWIT's 'talent pipeline program' called the Awards for Aspirations in Computing. "Which is an effort to find and recognize high school girls that are active in computing technology right now and have the greatest potential to go on and major in that field in college. Ruthe said they started the award program in 2007 with twelve girls. In 2008 they went national and today the national event serves 35 national winners and those come from the top one percent of all applicants. They get about 3000 applications from approximately 35 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. In 2011 NCWIT recognized 355 girls, and in the 2011-12 round they expect to recognize between 500 to 700 girls. Ruthe's long term goal is to have a thousand girls per year recognized in approximately 70 affiliates that would cover all 50 U.S. states, and then a pool of 10,000 girls." Larry asked, "Who are these young women, how do we recognize them, what would we be looking for?" Ruthe said, "They could be your daughter, niece, granddaughter, your neighbor's kid, your babysitter - it could be any girl... What we're looking for is any girl with aspirations and interest in computing. We're not looking for the rock star, top of her class, valedictorian.. We are looking for that little bit of interest and how we can foster it from here." At the national level, the prize is $500 cash, a laptop and a trip for two [the girl and a parent] to the Bank of America 'Technology Stars of the Future Gala' which is comparable to the Oscars. The NCWIT Academic Alliance is committed to 100 schools offering scholarships by this next year. The opportunities really are there, this is a beginning point for these girls. A quick note to teachers. We want all of your girls, not just your top students. Often with the word competition, teachers think I'll send someone who has a shot at winning. Really everyone has a shot because we're looking for aspirations. So ask all of them to apply." Pass this interview along to others you know would be interested...
Related Links: Aspirations Award || NCWIT Home || NCWIT Practice || NCWIT Blog || Heroes Channel || Keywords: Ruthe Farmer, NCWIT, Aspirations in Computing Award, High School Girls, Bank of America, Technology Channel, National Center for Women & Information Technology Bytes: 7869652
LISTEN to Ruthe Farmer, NCWIT, Director of Strategic Initiatives
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