NCWIT — An absolute dream when you’re trying to survive as a female in tech

Here’s a quick sneak peak into the world of the National Center for Women & Information Technology from the eyes of a high school STEMinist.

NCWIT Aspirations in Computing National Award Winners at the National Award Ceremony at the Bank of America HQ in Charlotte, NC

This March, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the National Center for Women & Information Technology’s (NCWIT) National Event for a weekend as 1 of 41 National Winners of NCWIT’s Aspirations in Computing Award out of over 3,000 applicants. The National Event took place in Charlotte, NC at Bank of America’s Headquarters, and all the winners got to tour around the headquarters and talk to Bank of America employees to learn about what they do at Bank of America. Not only did we get to come on an all expense-paid trip to North Carolina and stay in the Ritz Carlton, but NCWIT gave all the winners a nice glass trophy, a lot of really cool NCWIT swag, and even a new Mac! We were definitely pampered that weekend by NCWIT and I will never forget the whole experience and all the other winners.

But NCWIT means so much more to me than just a weekend of fun. For the past two years that I have been a part of NCWIT, I have received nothing but love and support. As a member of the NCWIT Facebook group of 4000+ women, I am always updated on the most amazing opportunities for high school women in tech. Last year, because of NCWIT, I came to know about the application to become an Apple WWDC (Worldwide Developer’s Conference) scholar, with a free ticket to attend WWDC for an entire week. Being a WWDC scholar was an amazing experience, especially since I got to take a selfie with Tim Cook and meet Michelle Obama. I also learned about We Are Family Foundation’s Just Peace Summit, which I attended in March as well as one of 30 Global Teen Leaders — one of the greatest experiences ever.

Not only has NCWIT given me several opportunities, it has also provided me with an amazing community of women across the nation who are so kind and are always there for me to help me out and give me the best advice on being a high school female in tech. No matter what, I know I can count on all the women in NCWIT, and it is pretty neat to have a community to hang out with whenever I am traveling around the country. NCWIT also hosts meet ups in several cities around the country that are always so fun to attend. I got to go to an NCWIT meet up in Bloomberg NYC last summer, where I met really incredible females in tech. I am always left inspired by anyone I meet from NCWIT and it still seems crazy to me that I get to be a part of such an amazing organization with some of the most talented women I have ever met.

NCWIT really does hold a place in my heart. I have made really close friends through NCWIT that I talk to every day. Last year, I even invited some of my NCWIT friends from around my area to come to my Sweet 16 and have a sleepover afterwards. It was definitely an awesome experience for the books!

I am so grateful for NCWIT and all of the amazing women I have met through the organization. If you are a high schooler or college female in tech, definitely apply for the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Award! NCWIT may just become your second family soon.