Students win awards for computer science

Patrick Ryan

The National Center for Women and Information Technology honored seven Harvard-Westlake students with the Aspirations in Computing Award during a ceremony in Newport Beach May 20.

The ceremony was part of the 10th annual NCWIT Summit, which ran from May 19-21.

“This year was especially exciting because the ceremony was during the NCWIT summit, so there were many college professors, famous women in technology, and even Chelsea Clinton,” Megha Srivastava ’14 said. “I was actually more excited about the chance to meet all these people than the award itself.”

The students who won the award were Srivastava, Melanie Krassel ’15, Molly Cinnamon ’14, Divya Siddarth ’14, Cami Katz ’16 and Lara Bagdasarian ’17. Nina Juarez ’16 was also recognized and received a runner-up award.

The application included essays about how the girls got involved in computer science and what their future plans are in the field along with scores in AP Computer Science and other math and science classes.

The application also needed endorsement from the students’ computer science teachers. Students who attended the awards ceremony received iPad Minis from Apple employee Andrea Jung who attended the summit.

The girls each received two plaques, one for the school and one for themselves.

“It inspires the people that have won the award to go further with it. Once you win the award, you are part of a community,” Krassel said. “There is a Facebook group and you get constant emails about different events and I think they can actually help people find internships. Once you are a member, you are part of the movement to increase women in computer science.”