The most valuable part of the Aspirations in Computing program is our AiC Community.
NCWIT has shown through research and evaluation of data, that this community has been critical in establishing a network of support and allowing members to see past individual circumstances and find ways to oppose the cultures in which they live, study and work. The community is compromised of over 15,000 womxn who have either won an award in high school, joined when they entered college, or applied for the NCWIT Collegiate Award.
The community connects through our online Facebook group where they can share advice, opportunities, and post about their experiences in the tech world. They also connect through events in your affiliate from meet-ups to conferences to AspireIT programs and tech-related workshops. Providing those in-person opportunities is where you and the affiliate team comes in.
Each affiliate has an AiC Community within their region to reach out and engage in a meaningful way (View here for a Map of your AiC Community). This is important to not only make the community more valuable, but it is essential to growing your programs and expanding your impact within your local community. Below are some helpful tips on how to engage with your AiC Community members
5 Ways to Engage with AiC Community members:
Send Information About Local Opportunities and Announcements
- By sending local opportunities to community members and past awardees about internships, programs/workshops, scholarships, club activities, and anything/everything of value you can make the award more valuable
- You can email past awardees directly from your coordinator and team member dashboard, or you can download a csv list of all past applicants
- Submit a community opportunity on aspirations.org for either just those in your community to view or for all community members nationwide. This can be scholarships, internships, job opportunities, workshops, and any opportunity that would be great for them to take advantage of.
Host a Meet-Up
Consider partnering with a community member in your affiliate to host a meet-up for recent and past awardees. Meet-Ups can provide awardees an opportunity to make friends and strengthn your community.
All applications will be reviewed by the AiC Community Program Manager. Review of applications is at NCWIT’s discretion. Applications will be screened to create a diversity of locations, meet-up types, appropriateness of agenda, etc.
The meet-up leader will be mailed a pre-paid VISA gift card to cover the costs of food and location ($15 per person attending). Funding will be for a minimum of 3 people and a maximum of 25 people. Funds can be used for supporting costs, such as food, non-alcoholic drinks, paper products, and space. Funds cannot be used for alcohol, prizes, or staffing costs.
Coordinators can apply for other funds for many types of outreach events. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to ask about how the AiC Community can support your outreach efforts.
Encourage Them to Join the Affiliate
Do you need more with outreach in your community? Planning your event? Growing your impact? AiC Community members make excellent team members and coordinators and can offer insightful infomration on what helped and motivated them. AiC Community members can incredibly helpful on a number of affiliate roles and responsibilites including, but certainly not limited to:
- Hosting An Application Party
- Pro-Tip: Invite the whole family to an application party and provide some lite food. You can talk to the parents as former AiC Awardees can help the new applicants fill out their essays!
Selection - We strongly encourage you to get a diverse set of represenatives involved with selection. Everyone from academics, to business leaders, to former awardees! They can offer insight into who they think would benefit the most from this award
Outreach - Have them encourage their classmates, collegues, and their friends to apply
Follow-Up - Do you have a lot of incomplete applications? A phone call from a former awardee might be the encouragement they needed!
You can apply for meetup funds for many types of outreach events. Contact email@example.com to ask about how the AiC Community can support your outreach efforts.
Invite Them to the Event
Our members can elevate the substance of your event and add a helping hand to making your event a success. They can be involved in a number of different ways, but below are just some of the best ways we've found to incorporate them into your event.
- Highlight them as a Speaker/Panelist
- Facilitate the networking portion of your event
- Run a technical activity or ice breaker
- Write encouraging notes to awardees
- Announce Names/Hand-Out trophies
Connect to Campus Reps and Collegiate Community
NCWIT has officially launched our Campus Reps program, where represenatives are tasked with the growing AiC Community by welcoming new members, promoting the Community to non-members on campus, acting as a friendly point of contact for interested high school students, and staying well-informed about NCWIT opportunities to share with other AiC members in their institution. Connecting with them and the collegiate community at your local community college and college campuses is a great way to:
Represent NCWIT/AiC at their school
Recruit Community members on campus
Promote the Collegiate Award and other NCWIT opportunities
Promote opportunities from AiC sponsors and other NCWIT Alliance members
Promote Aspire IT
Host regional meetups
Attend and speak at Regional Award events
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions and ideas regarding working with AiC Community Members