Where Are They Now
The program that NCWIT has built around their Aspirations in Computing award has provided me with years mentorship and support that ultimately have lead to my success throughout college. A few years ago, as a timid freshman, I nervously entered North Central College to find I was the first girl at my college to ever pursue a degree in computer science. Furthermore in my core classes, the ratio of men to women is approximately 20:1, a figure more biased towards men than the national average.
It would be easy to say that Nicole Torcolini (2007 Seattle-area Award for Aspirations in Computing recipient) faced more obstacles than most young women who pursue studies and careers in the male-dominated field of computing; but in Nicole's case she literally didn't see the obstacles in her way. She lost most of her sight at age four due to cancer in the optic chiasm, and the cancer treatment she received caused her to become slightly hard-of-hearing in both ears.
Serena Booth, from Memphis, Tennessee, took a slightly different path after winning a national Award for Aspirations in Computing in 2011. She was admitted to Harvard after graduating from high school, but decided to take a gap year to work in behavioral research at Disney.