NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Takes #WWDC15


The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is happening in San Francisco this week. While most of us are glued to the live stream, several young women we know are on site! NCWIT was among 20 STEM organizations chosen to receive scholarships for its members to attend the WWDC free of charge. We’re thrilled that nine participants from the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC) program were selected to attend such a prestigious event.

  • Maribeth Bottorff: University of South Carolina-Columbia; AiC Collegiate Member
    Maribeth is a junior at the University of South Carolina studying Computer Science. She has a passion for learning and teaching; but before becoming an educator, she plans to work on projects that significantly and positively impact communities.
  • Harshita Gupta: Mission San Jose High School; 2015 California: Bay Area Affiliate AiC Award Winner, 2015 National AiC Award Runner-up
    Harshita is a junior at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, California. She has been interested in computers and technology since the tender age of nine and has taken college-level computer science coursework. She is one of the founders of her high school's Association for Computing Machinery chapter, and teaches AP CS preparatory classes to her peers after school. She is a programmer for a FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) team, and is on two app-development teams for her school district. She plans to double major in computer science and psychology.
  • Joy Hsu: Oxford Academy. 2015 California: Southern California Affiliate Winner; 2015 National AiC Award Winner
    Joy is a high school junior aspiring to one day found her own technology enterprise. She pursues avidly after her passion of computer science, and she is fluent in the programming languages of Java, C++, and Objective C; database management of MySQL/SQL; and also Unity3D game design. Now, she is a paid teacher at Mobile End Zone Academy, helping students learn Java/XML/Android App development. As the Director of Technology for STEM, Joy is also dedicated to teaching basic coding, computer networks, and ROBOTC. Joy hopes to focus on more programming projects/research opportunities in the future and dual major in computer science as well as business management
  • Rithika Korrapol: Robbinsville High School; 2015 New Jersey Affiliate AiC Award Winner
    Rithika has taken CS 1 and 2 as electives freshman year, and scored a 4 on her AP CS test after taking the course sophomore year. The summer after her sophomore year, Rithika became the student ambassador of Robbinsville High School for Girls Who Code, a non-profit whose mission is to close the gender gap in the technology industry. She founded and is currently the president of the Girls Who Code club at her high school where she teaches about 30 of her female peers how to code for 2 hours a week.
  • Kaitlyn Lee: University of Southern California; 2012 Oregon and SW Washington Affiliate AiC Award Winner
    Kaitlyn is currently a junior at the University of Southern California, majoring in CS with a minor in mobile application development. She is the Communications Director for USC's Association for Computing Machinery chapter, an officer of the Society of Women Engineers Community Affairs Committee, the USC Facebook Campus Ambassador, a former Google Student Ambassador for USC, a student worker for USC's Viterbi Adopt-a-School, Adopt-a-Teacher (VAST) K-12 Outreach program, an Engineering Freshmen Academy Coach in the Viterbi School of Engineering, and a board member of the USC Ballroom Dance Team.
  • Alyssa McDevitt: Central York High School; 2015 Pennsylvania: Western & Central Pennsylvania and West Virginia Affiliate AiC Award Winner
    Alyssa’s greatest technical accomplishment was coordinating her school's Hour of Code this past December and creating her school's programming club. She wants to be a computer programmer. Her dream is to live and work in the Silicon Valley and maybe even run her own company there someday.
    I knew a bit of objective C but had no idea how to code in swift. I quickly learned using a code with chris tutorial and submitted my app minutes before the deadline. One of the most inspiring sessions for me was Debbie Sterling's lunchtime talk. Hearing how she almost quit engineering after struggling in her 3D drawing class reminded me of how I struggled in AP Java. Seeing how she bounced back with her own company encouraged me to try and make my own startup and continue with Computer Science. I met so many great people at WWDC and so greatful NCWIT helped me with this opportunity." 
  • Sara Peletz: Brown University; AiC Collegiate Member
    Sara Peletz studies engineering at Brown University and leads a cloud-based health solutions startup. She has interned at engineering firms D-Rev and REM Design in San Francisco, and uses technical and creative problem-solving skills to develop innovative, multi-disciplinary solutions. Sara is currently outreach director of Brown’s Society of Women Engineers.
  • Sonia Sachar: Irvington High School; 2015 California: Bay Area Affiliate AiC Award Winner, 2015 National AiC Award Runner-up
    Sonia is a junior at Irvington High School. She enjoys playing basketball, listening to music, and reading many books. Sonia is passionate about leadership and community engagement and believes technology can be used to create greater awareness of teen issues. Another one of her passions is advocating for a greater number of girls in STEM focused education. She furthers this passion by teaching coding and technology to girls in her high school and in the Bay Area.
  • Kara Vaillancourt: Virginia Tech; 2013 National AiC Award Winner
    Kara goes to Virginia Tech and is majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Industrial Design. She has been involved with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the Association for Women in Computing (AWC), and NCWIT at Virginia Tech. AWC sponsored her trip to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in 2013, which was an amazing experience. She hopes to give back to these clubs and associations by becoming an officer or dedicating her time and energy to continuing their work and outreach. 


Apple is a Lifetime Partner of NCWIT and a Lifetime Sponsor of the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC) program. The AiC program is a sweeping national talent development initiative for young women in computing, from kindergarten through graduate school. In addition to Apple, the AiC program is supported nationally by AT&T, Bank of America, Bloomberg, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Northrop Grumman, and the Symantec Corporation. Find out more at


Aspirations Community: 
National Award

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