Outreach & Promotion
GETTING THE WORD OUT
One of the biggest challenges an Affiliate faces is getting the word about the Aspirations in Computing Award and getting girls to apply. Reaching out to all the schools, educators, parents in your community can often be overwhelming -but it is crucial in encouraging these young women to apply.
The Aspirations in Computing Award is not just for those students who are already encouraged and thriving in the computing and technology fields, but it is also for those students who have an interest and a passion for these subjects, but do not have the same access to technology, encouragement, and opportunities as their peers from other schools and cities.
It is important to take this into account when doing any outreach in your region and ensuring that your Affiliate does not just reach out to schools where you have received a lot of applications from in the past or schools with a high technology focus. An Affiliate outreach should include outreach to:
Underrepresented in computing means those populations that are underrepresented in the field of computing (both education and industry) relative to their numbers in the general population. Encouraging students from these populations can diversify and strengthen your affiliate and help close not only gender gap in tech, but that gap for all underrepresented groups. Those underrepresented groups are women of all races and ethnicities; African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian; and all persons with disabilities (defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities).
Going into rural communities can mean the difference for young women who do not have the same opportunites as those who are located in a tech hubs like NYC or Silicon Valley. It's important to identify these areas and make special efforts to reach educators, parents, and applicants in these regions. It may require creative solutions such as reaching out to 4-H or organizing a classroom visit to really encourage high school women to apply for the Aspiration award.
High Poverty Areas
Areas without computing/technology education, lack of access to technology/internet, and with a low median income are incredibly important to include in your outreach efforts. Furthermore, it is important to recongize their barriers to either applying for the award or attending the ceremony. Providing travel stipiends (gas, hotel, meals) for award winners from either far distances or an impoverished areas can mean the difference for them applying or attending a ceremony. Additionally, meeting the students where they are can reduce entry barriers and provide those with lmited experience an equal chance to succeed.
Aspirations Award Outreach
Contacting more than one individual at a school increases the chances of reaching girls. In addition to (or instead of) mailing the letter, create a school email distribution list that includes the principal, guidance/career counselor, and CS or IT teacher at each school. Modify the contents of the letter and send in an email. Include the Award Poster and Info Sheet as an attachment. Follow up with a phone call to make sure the email or print letter was received and encourage recipients to share the opportunity with girls.
Consult a city directory for a list of youth-serving organizations such as home schooling networks, Boys and Girls Club, Girl Scouts, Girls Inc., 4H and others. Some universities and city parks and recreation programs sponsor computing clubs. Learn who key personnel are in these organizations and ask them to spread the word, or better yet recruit them onto your committee. Call the nearest chapter of the Computer Science Teacher's Association and ask for their help connecting with likely candidates. (http://www.csta.acm.org/About/sub/CSTAChapters.html). Distribute a version of the Letter to Schools – Publicize the Opportunity, or give them stacks of the Aspirations Award Card to pass along to girls.
Ask to drop by computing or IT classes at local high schools to announce the opportunity or show the promo video. Visit school or community computing or robotics clubs, too. Pass out the customized Award Info Sheet and encourage girls to distribute them among their classmates at school. For example, at UT El Paso, ACM chapter students from the university visited area high schools to encourage young women to apply.
One of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do for collegiate award outreach is work with your local universities and college to have their female students in a CS related major join the Collegiate Community. The college entry point into the Aspirations Community is available for technical women in college who weren’t previously exposed during high school. As a member, they will receive the same benefits as an AiC Award winner an exclusive access to job opportunities, scholarships, networking with tech companies, and
connection a community of women over 10,000 strong.
Benefits to young women who become part of this vast network include:
- private invitations to virtual and in-person meetups
- visibility for technical achievements
- computing outreach programs in local communities for growing members’ leadership and entrepreneurial skills
- hands-on activities for exploring computer science concepts
- exclusive access to scholarships, internships, and job opportunities
Educator Award Outreach
Typically, coordinators and team members will often promote the Aspirations Award to teachers and educators, so that they can pass that information onto their students and encourage them to apply. At the same time, affiliates can encourage those educators who've endorse an application, to apply for AiC Educator Award. Any teacher, counselor, administrator, mentor, or other influencer who supports high school women’s passion for computing and technology is welcome to apply if he or she meets all of the following criteria:
- Applicant resides in the U.S. or is a U.S. citizen residing in Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or on a U.S. overseas military base.
- Applicant has a valid U.S. Tax Identification or Social Security Number.
- Applicant has endorsed a 2018 Award for Aspirations in Computing application (for high school women); endorsements must be completed by November 14, 2017.
Each National Award winner, and each Regional Affiliate Award winner and honorable mention receives:
- recognition at a Regional Affiliate Award event
- increased visibility in his or her school district and community
- NCWIT resources and promotional items
- an engraved award for both the Educator and his or her school
In addition to the prizes listed above, each National Award winner receives a cash prize and a trip to the 2018 NCWIT Summit on Women and IT, in Grapevine, Texas this May; and, each Regional Affiliate Award winner receives $250.
To the extent required by law, NCWIT will report the value of the Award prizes to the IRS on Form 1099. Taxes, where applicable, are the responsibility of the Award recipient.
Ways to engage with AiC Community members:
Recruitment- Our members can assist with recruitment efforts in the following ways:
Help plan or host a recruitment event/MeetUp
Share materials at an existing event
Many of our members have their own non-profits, attend/host regional conferences, and are in the workforce. They can be great advocates for spreading the word about all 3 awards
Reach out to contacts at their high school or college
At the Event- Our members can assist on the day of your event in the following ways:
Participate as a speaker for your award event
Greet attendees at the door
Facilitate the networking portion of your event
Run a technical activity
Give a tour
Overall- AiC Community members can
serve on your committee
Reach out to applicants to answer questions
Host a Q&A for prospective applicants