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South Salt Lake Journal

South Salt Lake students top technology awards in computing

Sep 21, 2020 12:57PM ● By Julie Slama

National Center for Women & Information Technology honored local high school girls during the Award for Aspirations in Computing banquet. (Photo courtesy of NCWIT)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Three Granite Technical Institute girls recently were awarded honors at the National Center for Women & Information Technology Award for Aspirations in Computing.

GTI students Tiare Jorquera and Cynthia Perez-Pacheco were named honorable mention regional winners and classmate Alayna Pinales receiving the Rising Star award March 7 as the NCWIT honored local high school students for their interest and achievements. Jorquera and Perez-Pacheco received an engraved crystal trophy for the high school as well as individual crystal. Pinales received a certificate and they all received technology prizes.

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing honors ninth- through 12th-grade students for their computing-related achievements and interests, and encourages them to pursue their passions. Award recipients are selected based on their aptitude and aspirations in technology and computing, as demonstrated by their computing experience, computing-related activities, leadership experience, tenacity in the face of barriers to access, and plans for post-secondary education. 

Other area regional winners are Manya Nair, Riverton High; Katelyn Swain, JATC; Maili Vu, AMES; Maya Heesch, Providence Hall; and Sydney Leister, Mountain Ridge High; and Sanjana Kargi and Abigail Slama-Catron, both of Hillcrest High.

Area honorable mention awards went to Marianne Liu of Sandy, West High; Tea Flores, Herriman High; Katheryn Wesley, AMES; Lillian McElheny, Riverton High; Quinn Quinley, Riverton; Shae Harmon, Murray High; Samantha Wilhelm, Murray High; Kayla Bacon, Herriman High; Michelle Chiem, Herriman High; and Maria Feist, Herriman High.

Area Rising Star awards, for those who are starting out in their pursuit of studying computing, went to Kaitlyn Lowe, Brighton High; Ashley Hillstead, Beehive Academy; Hannah Braeger, Herriman High; Madisen Homer, Murray High; and Grace Haglund, Olympus High.

Since 2007, nearly 17,000 students have received an Aspirations in Computing award and regional affiliate award programs are hosted in 79 locations nationwide by NCWIT member organizations—a national network of universities, companies, nonprofits, and government organizations working to increase the influence and meaningful participation of girls and women from every community.

According to its website, NCWIT was chartered in 2005 by the National Science Foundation and is a nonprofit community that convenes, equips, and unites change leader organizations to increase the influential and meaningful participation of girls and women—at the intersections of race, ethnicity, class, age, sexual orientation, and disability status—in the field of computing, particularly in terms of innovation and development.

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