National Center for Women & IT Honors ITA Student for Second Year in a Row

Mon April 16, 2018

The Information Technology Academy (ITA) is proud to announce that the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) honored six ITA students in the 2017 NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC) competition. ITA Madison winners included sophomores Elena Hind and Jazzmine Harper along with junior Olivia Mardak-Kennebeck, who also won last year. ITA Lac du Flambeau sophomores Lauryn Cameron and Ayla Mollen were honored as well as ITA Oneida senior Paige Skenandore.

ITA NCWIT Award Ceremony Lauryn Cameron, Jazzmine Harper, Elena Hind, Olivia Mardak-Kennebeck

Lauryn Cameron, Jazzmine Harper, Elena Hind and Olivia Mardak-Kennebeck from ITA at the NCWIT Awards Ceremony

NCWIT is a non-profit community of nearly 1,100 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations dedicated to increasing girls’ and women’s participation in computing and technology. 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. “Encouraging young women’s interest in technology careers is critical: our workforce needs their creativity and their innovation,” said Lucy Sanders, CEO and Co-founder of NCWIT. The multi-tiered competition is sponsored by Apple, Bank of America, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions Foundation, and Symantec.

This year, at the national level, 41 winners and 350 honorable mentions were selected from more than 3,600 talented young women who applied. At the local level, Wisconsin awarded NCWIT Affiliate Awards to 71 Winners. 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.

ITA Madison junior, and 2017 award-winner, Olivia Mardak-Kennebeck, was a 2018 National Honorable Mention Winner and a 2018 Wisconsin Affiliate Winner. She has worked with multiple Adobe software, C++, Ableton Live and other programs. Using JavaScript, she made an artificial intelligence game. Olivia enjoys taking photos, learning new computer science skills, and playing ultimate frisbee. She is planning on attending the UW-Madison to become an illustrator.

Two ITA Madison sophomores were named 2018 Wisconsin Affiliate Winners, Elena Hind and Jazzmine Harper. Elena has always been drawn to the nexus between technology and art, which she to express her creativity and allow her to explore her environment. Through ITA, Elena has learned how to produce music with Ableton, make films with Premiere Pro, and do art and photography with Adobe Photoshop. She plans to attend college to study cinematography or contemporary photography. Jazzmine cites being part of ITA as her greatest technical achievement. Through ITA, she has taken apart and rebuilt a computer, created websites, and produced music. A winner of other community awards, she plans on studying fashion illustration in college.

ITA Lac du Flambeau sophomore Ayla Mollen was named a 2018 Wisconsin Affiliate Winner, while her peer Lauryn Cameron was named a 2018 Wisconsin Affiliate Honorable Mention. Ayla is self-taught at Adobe programs, but has been increasing her technology and art skills through ITA. She hopes to pursue a career in veterinary medicine and biochemistry. Lauryn is a member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and attends Lakeland Union High School, where she has a 3.9 GPA. In addition to ITA, Lauryn is a member of the volleyball team, student council, art club, Spanish club, National Honor Society, and a World Leadership Council. She hopes to attend UW-Madison.

ITA Oneida senior Paige Skenandore received was named a 2018 Wisconsin Affiliate Honorable Mentioned. Paige, a senior at Seymour High School, learned coding, Adobe software and video editing through ITA. She completed an internship at the Oneida Health Center, where she learned medical technology and patient record systems. As part of the Future Business Leaders of America, Paige designed a mobile application to inventory library books. She will attend UW-Madison in fall 2018 with a full-tuition PEOPLE Program scholarship.

Read about last year’s winners here.

ITA NCWIT 2018 Award Winner Photos