Minnesota Aspirations in Computing (MNAiC), the Minnesota chapter for a national program focused on supporting students who identify as women, genderqueer, and nonbinary find and pursue technology careers, is joining the Minnesota Technology Foundation.

The vision to bring Aspirations in Computing (AiC) to Minnesota came from Russ Fraenkel 12 years ago. Working at the time for the Minnesota IT Center of Excellence, Russ built a team of volunteers that have grown the geographic footprint, the numeric participation, and the programs available to Aspirations participants. More than 600 students have been able to benefit from awards, internships, mentorship, job shadowing, and company tours.

Amy Patton, VP of Technology at SPS Commerce, has volunteered with Aspirations in Computing for many years, and is currently serving as the volunteer project lead. “We are excited to be joining MnTech, and to be able to expand our work to students across the state. We are proud of what the organization has accomplished in its first 12 years and see this new home at MnTech as a platform for our continued growth.”

MnTech CEO Jeff Tollefson shared the excitement surrounding the announcement. “We are honored to have a program with the history, reputation, and volunteer support of Aspirations joining MnTech. Minnesota needs to equitably double the development of technologists in our state to allow the industry to continue to thrive. It will take a collaborative effort of companies, schools, and community-based organizations to make this happen – and MnTech is built for just this type of collaboration.”

The MnTech Foundation needs the support of individuals and companies for this endeavor to succeed.

  • Encourage a student that should apply for an award
  • Contribute to the Minnesota Technology Foundation
  • Mentor an Aspirations Award Winner
  • Volunteer to review student applications
  • Host tours, job shadowing or internships at your company