York School senior Kendall Ronzano, selected last year as the young philanthropist of Monterey County, was selected by the National Center for Women & Information Technology for the 2013 NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing. The award which recognizes high school girls for their ambitions and achievements in computing and technology. Ronzano received her award at a ceremony in Charlotte, North Carolina on March 9.
The award encourages young women to succeed in technology. Despite their advances in academia and the workforce, women are disproportionally underrepresented in computing fields: they hold only 25 percent of all technology occupations, earn 18 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in computing, and represent just 19 percent of all Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science test-takers. The Aspirations in Computing program encourages young women to persist in a field where women traditionally have been underrepresented.
The 35 award winners were selected from more than 1,800 applications from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and overseas U.S. military bases. Each winner will receive $500 cash, a laptop computer, an engraved award for both her and her school, and mentoring opportunities with Bank of America employees.
Ronzano, who was featured in the Herald last year, credits her interest and aptitude in computer science to early exposure and encouraging teachers starting with Mr. Jacobs at Mission Hill Junior High who taught students coding in sixth grade. She pursued that interest and turned it into a passion at York School where she learned programming languages and how to apply them in project-based learning. “York is a safe place for girls to take their technology interests to a higher level. Once we learned the practical application of something we were encouraged to experiment by going beyond our comfort zone with the tool.
Ronzano was selected by her peers to serve as this year’s Technology Officer, one of the positions on the executive student council. In considering her college options, she plans to pursue a major in Computer Science and minor in Latin.