TechGirlz Teen Advisory Board Members Win Big at NCWIT

By Cecily Kellogg

Srija Tamidela joined TechGirlz as a volunteer teaching assistant and has been an active member of the organization’s Teen Advisory Board since 2021, inspiring young girls in tech through TechGirlz workshops in popular programming languages such as C++, Javascript, Python and more. Tamidela, a student at Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy in Westwego, La., has enrolled in her district’s App Development training, where she earned two Swift user certifications and even has time to mentor her school’s middle-school robotics team! 

To honor all her efforts and accomplishments, the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)  recently named Tamidela a national winner of an Aspirations in Computing award. The honors are bestowed annually by NCWIT to high school women, genderqueer, and nonbinary students who have displayed outstanding aptitude in computing and the related sciences, as well as a drive to overcome barriers and meet challenges with confidence. Winners have also shown the drive and leadership skills needed to succeed in their chosen fields and plan to attend post-secondary education in the coming year, according to NCWIT. 

Tamidela isn’t busy resting on her laurels though. She’s still actively building her already impressive tech resume. “I took AP [computer science] principles and am currently in AP research where I am conducting a mixed-method study (for ISEF) on how website accessibility impacts interactivity. I am utilizing data science topics I learned to map trends in interactivity rates,” she said. 

This year, NCWIT selected 40 national winners and 360 honorable mention awards from 3,300 applicants. Nine other TechGirlz TAB members received the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing honorable mention awards: Maanya Chugh, Trevor Gardner, Vibha Gunturi, Sahasra Nandela, Ananya Raghunath, Ishitaa Saxena and Ava Saydam. In addition, Sophia Tamburrino was chosen as a Rising Star in the Greater Philadelphia region and Kylie Cameron and Amrita Acharya were selected for Affiliate awards. They join several board members who also received the awards last year.  

Images of Teen Advisory Board members that were recognized by NCWIT

Here’s what several TAB members had to say about winning the Aspirations in Computing awards from NCWIT: 

“I am so honored to represent Louisiana in the National NCWIT 2023 ceremony and got the chance to meet an incredible group of other winners at the ceremony. Receiving this award and being surrounded by such an amazing community makes me feel like I have a place in the computing and technology industry in my future career.” 

— Srija Tamidela 


“I'm truly grateful and honored to have received the NCWIT Honorable Mention Award. It's a recognition of the efforts I've put into pursuing my passion for technology, and it inspires me to continue working hard and making a positive impact in the field!” 

— Maanya Chugh 


“It is a tremendous honor to be a regional winner of NCWIT. To be recognized by women who are in computing and STEM industries is an honorable accomplishment.”  

— Trevor Gardner 


“Winning an NCWIT award is truly an honor! It really showed me that I do have power to make a difference for the gender gap in computing. It motivated me to keep promoting STEM education and continue my work.” 

— Sahasra Nandela 


“I am so honored to be recognized as a national honorable mention and regional award winner for NCWIT! I am happy that NCWIT is supporting me as a woman in computing. I can't wait to see where my journey in computer science takes me next!” 
— Ava Saydam 


“Winning an NCWIT award was a surreal experience for me! I feel grateful and excited to pursue technology with support from an amazing network of powerful women.”  

— Sophia Tamburrino 


Congratulations to all!