On Thursday, April 18, the Minnesota Aspirations in Computing Program (MnAiC) celebrated 40 students for their achievements in technology with the Aspirations in Computing Award Ceremony. National and state review teams selected these students from high schools across Minnesota. One National Award winner was recognized along with 10 National Honorable Mentions, 18 State Award winners, and 17 State Honorable Mention winners. This group of bright, young students are active in their schools, communities, and extracurricular activities. They show great promise as future technologists and they stand out for their exceptional technical prowess, leadership skills, and dedication to leveraging technology for positive social impact. You can view the names and biographies of each honoree here.

Celebrating a National Award Winner

This year, MnAiC is proud to announce a national award winner from Eden Prairie High School, Jasmine Garry. Jasmine is a social entrepreneur who draws inspiration from the belief that early education on the positive impact of technology can shape the next generation into innovative thinkers through STEM disciplines. Through workshops, classes, and hackathons, she empowers students to explore and excel in STEM fields. Jasmine’s love for programming apps has led her to win the Congressional App Challenge in 2022 for her app “RexCycle,” which leverages machine learning to simplify the intricacies of recycling. Subsequently, she earned global recognition as a Technovation Combating Hunger Award Winner for her app “HOPE,” a social networking platform connecting volunteers with refugees. Fueled by the thrill of solving cyber security challenges, Jasmine was honored as a 2023 National CyberStart Scholar ranking in the top 7% of CyberStart players nationwide. When she’s not programming, Jasmine enjoys competing in Mock Trial, Debate, and DECA, which complements her love for app development and entrepreneurship, placing 2nd globally at ICDC. Jasmine’s aspirations extend to college, where she envisions studying and delving deeper into technology innovation. She strives to give back to her community through civic engagement on congressional youth boards, advocating for computer science and environmental initiatives.

Educators Receive Awards

In addition to student honorees, MnAiC recognized three educators for their work in empowering students within the STEM field. Dr. Michael Wulf was recognized as a National Educator Award winner, Dr. Kate Lockwood was recognized as a State Education Award winner, and Princessa Hansen was recognized as a State Honorable Mention Recipient. You can read about these educators here.

About Aspirations in Computing

For the past 12 years, MnAiC has been a leading force for hundreds of students, steering them towards educational and professional paths in technology. The program empowers high school students who identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary by providing various opportunities. These include prestigious awards, paid internships, mentorship pairings, job shadow experiences, scholarships, and hands-on learning experiences aimed at cultivating technical, entrepreneurial, and leadership skills. MnAiC amplifies voices, builds identity, rewards persistence, and recognizes fortitude as participants enhance their proficiency in technology and computing.

Congratulations to the 2024 Aspirations in Computing Award Honorees!

How to Get Involved and Support MnAiC

If you want to support this community of students to help inspire a future generation of technologists, there are numerous ways to get involved.

  1. Sign up to be a mentor
  2. Sign up to provide a job shadow experience
  3. Donate to the MnAiC Scholarship Fund

View a Gallery of Images From the Award Ceremony

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