The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


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Future tech leaders empowered by NCWIT: Awards recognize young women in technology

Charley Fisher
Emily Carrillo, senior at Xavier College Preparatory, received the Arizona Honorable Mention from National Center for Women & Information Technology at Paradise Valley High School. Zoë Levitt, NCWIT Aspirations Regional Affiliate Manager, presented Carrillo the award.

National Center for Women & Information Technology, known as NCWIT, awarded its attendees from Arizona on March 21. The ceremony was hosted at Paradise Valley High School where awardees were recognized.

NCWIT recognizes young women in 9th-12th grades who have accomplishments in computer science. The total number of awardees for 2024 was 400 students around the United States.

Different prizes are given to awardees, such as National Award Winner, National Honorable Mention, Regional Affiliate Award Winner, Regional Affiliate Honorable Mention, and Regional Affiliate Rising Star.

Out of the 400 recipients selected from 3,300 applicants, Xavier College Preparatory had 52 students who won awards.

Leon Tynes, Jr., Xavier’s computer science department chair, explains the application process for applicants of NCWIT. 

“They had to talk about themselves through essays, everything they have done with the school and their leadership in computer science,” Tynes said.

A few of the women honored for their leadership in computer science were Xavier students Stephanie Lee ‘24, Maryel Rivera Ramos ‘24 and Ava Sharett ‘24. These students were three winners out of a total of 40. 

Sharett said, “This award has given me a network. Once you receive an award from NCWIT, you are put into a network which sends you scholarships to apply for and a network of other women interested in computer science.”

Tynes added that the awardees of NCWIT are given a $10,000 scholarship towards college tuition which can be received more than once if the awardees continue to apply for awards with NCWIT. 

“This sets them up for success going forward. There is a large amount of funding that NCWIT raises to promote women in computing,” Tynes said. 

Tynes added that he pushed for his students to apply for NCWIT for the experience of talking about their accomplishments as good practice for college. He emphasized that these awards given to the awardees does not imply that they have to major in computer science.

However, Lee, Ramos and Sharett all mention how these awards have benefited their desires to continue growing as women in computing.

Sharett said, “In my application, I wrote about how I am passionate about public health equity. In the future, I could see myself using data science or creating an app that helps people receive access to healthcare and understand their health better.” 

Ramos mentioned her ambition for computing in the application process. “In the process of applying, they ask about your future plans in computer science. I talked about how I wanted to continue pursuing computer science.”

Lee said, “This award is recognition of my involvement in computer science and my ability to excel in getting others to become passionate about computer science.”

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