Philadelphia Area Affiliate Award for Aspirations in Computing Ceremony
On March 3, I attended the Philadelphia Area Affiliate Award for Aspirations in Computing ceremony with my mom and teacher. As soon as school ended, we drove the one-hour drive from Bethlehem, PA and arrived at the Villanova Conference Center around 4:15 p.m. Immediately upon arriving, I felt welcomed by the warm smiles of the coordinators and girls. As fellow award recipients trickled in, I conversed with those whom had already arrived. This was the first time that I have been in one room filled with so many women passionate about technology, and I was amazed to hear everyone’s unique, yet similar stories -- unique in the range of technological interests (robotics, app development, 3-D printing), yet similar in the passion for the work being done. I also met a representative from Air Products who happened to be married to a guidance counselor at Nitschmann, the middle school I attended. It is funny how small the world can be.
After I was able to talk with many people, the award ceremony commenced with remarks from Michele Grab and Dr. Rob Beck. Listening to the speakers, I could not help but feel grateful to be alive during such an exciting time. Truly, technology is transforming nearly every field, and it is exciting to know that I am able to contribute to such a shift in society. The awards were given out, and I was incredibly surprised by the generosity of the gifts -- three monstrous bags filled with all kinds of goodies from various sponsors. I felt spoiled by the amazing gifts, delicious food, and company of incredible people.
Several months ago, when I happened to read about NCWIT online and decided to apply for the award, I was unaware of the large community that exists around me. As one of the very few students at my school who is interested in computer science, and especially one of the few girls, I felt that the ceremony was particularly meaningful to me. It was encouraging to be reminded that I am a part of something greater, which can be sometimes hard to see at my school. I do not have many female role models to look up to when it comes to technology, so it was inspiring to see so many others who truly love what they do. I am honored to be a part of this organization and look forward to seeing the great accomplishments performed by this group of girls in upcoming years.