Cami. T '17 Wins National Center for Women in Technology's 2017 National Honorable Mention for Aspirations in Computing

This award honors young women in their computing achievements based on aptitude and aspirations in technology and computing, leadership ability, academic history, and plans for secondary education.

Cami T. '17 was awarded the 2017 National Honorable Mention for Aspirations in Computing by the National Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT). This award honors young women in their computing achievements based on aptitude and aspirations in technology and computing, leadership ability, academic history, and plans for secondary education.

NCWIT Aspirations in Computing provides a long-term community for women in technology, from K-12, college and beyond, encouraging continuous engagement and ongoing encouragement. They provide learning opportunities through computer-related activities, networking meet-ups, visibility for technical achievements, and leadership and entrepreneurial skills through support for girls leading computing outreach programs in their local communities. The group also provides scholarship, internship and job opportunites.

Cami shared some of her experience with the organization:

How did you get involved with NCWIT?

I first learned about NCWIT as a sophomore. I applied as extra credit for a coding class I took with Online School for Girls. I was pleasantly surprised to learn I had won a Los Angeles/OC award as a sophomore with such little experience in the field. When I attended the award ceremony and engaged with other young women with a passion for computer science, it truly sparked my interest in computer science.

What has your experience been with the NCWIT program?
One of the coolest things about the NCWIT Community is the Facebook group. Girls from all across America offer up really interesting, unique opportunities for one another to pursue. This supportive environment of young women is something to which I would really to contribute as I become older. In many ways, the NCWIT community is a lot like the Marlborough community. In whatever way I can, I'd like to support other young women with an interest in computer science and continue to take advantage of the incredible opportunities NCWIT has to offer. NCWIT offers grants for girls to develop their own computer science education programs as well as internships and scholarship opportunities. Those are just a few components of NCWIT in which I'm interested.

What was the 2017 National Aspirations in Computing application process like?
The application process consisted of several components discussing leadership and technological expertise, but one of the most interesting questions on the application was a question about one issue I'd like to address with technology. I had never quite considered this question before, but I did some research and wrote an essay about using technology to improve how prisons treat inmates with mental illnesses. I learned that the prison system lacks an organized, effective way to care for inmates who suffer from mental illnesses because of the potential safety risks and legal complications. Not to mention, inmates often resist treatment because of the stigmas surrounding mental illnesses within prison gangs. I think there is a clear need for technology to assist with this basic right of treating mental illnesses in one of our society's most disenfranchised communities. It's just a matter of working within the American prison system to discover a software or database that is safe and effective.

How did you feel about winning the 2017 National Honorable Mention award?
I won two previous awards with NCWIT as a sophomore and junior. My first award was a Los Angeles/OC Award and my second was a California regional award, but the Honorable Mention is a National Award which I was so shocked to have won. Winning awards with NCWIT has only continued to fuel my odyssey of discovery in the world of computer science. The other inspiring young women and mentors I have engaged with through NCWIT have inspired me to continue pursuing computer science.


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