ITA Students Win National Center for Women & IT Awards

Mon February 27, 2017

The Information Technology Academy (ITA) is proud to announce that the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) honored four ITA Madison students in the 2017 NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC) competition.

NCWIT is a non-profit community of nearly 900 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations dedicated to increasing girls’ and women’s participation in computing. Each year, the NCWIT Award for AIC recognizes U.S. high school women in grades 9 through 12 for their demonstrated interest and achievements in computing and technology, proven leadership ability, academic performance, and plans for post-secondary education. The multi-tiered competition is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Apple, Bank of America, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and others.

This year, at the national level, 50 winners and 350 honorable mentions were selected from more than 3,500 talented young women who applied. At the local level, Wisconsin awarded NCWIT Affiliate Awards to 30 Winners and 22 Honorable Mentions. National and local-level Affiliate Award winners receive recognition, scholarships and internship opportunities, and access to a large network of technical young women in high school, college, and beyond. UW-Madison generously offers Wisconsin Affiliate Award winners $1,000 scholarship to study computer sciences at UW-Madison.

Olivia Mardak-Kennebeck received a 2017 National Award Competition Honorable Mention and is a 2017 Wisconsin Competition Winner. A sophomore at Shabazz City High School, Olivia has worked with Adobe software, C++, JavaScript, video production technology, and Ableton Live, among other programs. She recently created an artificial intelligence game for elementary school students as part of ITA’s annual Road Show outreach project.

Seniors Tenzin Chokyi and Rosee Xiong are 2017 Wisconsin Competition Winners, and their peer, Mya Berry, received a 2017 Wisconsin Competition Honorable Mention. In addition to being a member of ITA, Tenzin completed a UW-Madison Engineering Summer Program and is involved in Madison’s Tibetan community. Rosee, a senior at Madison East High School, enjoyed learning coding, graphic and sound design, and video production through ITA. She applied her technology skills in ITA’s annual youth outreach, as a Silicon Valley Ambassador, and through an internship with DoIT Academic Technology’s Video Production service. Mya is passionate about computer science and completed two internships through ITA’s program.

After graduating from high school and the ITA program in June, Tenzin, Rosee and Mya will attend the UW-Madison in fall 2017, where all three young women plan to study computer sciences.