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The NCWIT Wisconsin Affiliate is privileged to have the support of some amazing technology companies in Wisconsin that share our passion for the mission of encouraging and support girls with aspirations for careers in computing. We’ve asked leaders from some of those key partners to share their thoughts with our community, specifically to recognize the girls being awarded this year as they pursue a career in technology. Here are thoughts from, John Miller, EVP and GM from one of our key partners, PDS.

Congratulations to the girls being acknowledged today as NCWIT Aspirations in Computing award winners! It’s a sincere honor for me to join others in congratulating you on this prestigious recognition. The reason my company and I became involved with NCWIT Aspirations in Computing was for both our daughters and for our community. We want a better world for them. We want a better world for you. We want your hopes and dreams to be enabled by removing gender and other barriers that can stand in your way. As my company employs hundreds of IT professionals, I embrace the role and responsibility we have to ensure equitable opportunities exist for you. I commit to you we’ll do our part. But the biggest movement will come from the very people being recognized here today…YOU! You represent hope, tenacity, trail blazing, and courage. In doing so you not only raise the opportunity for yourself, but also for all of those around you.

You see, when we are asked to review candidates for these awards, we look at a variety of factors from your spark, to your experience, to your plans, to your creativity, and to your ability to overcome adversity. Each are important characteristics and reading each of your stories brought tears, smiles, and inspiration to many of us who read them. But that spark? Let me elaborate on the importance…

Your spark is what ignited your interest. And with that I implore you to look beside you to the very people who supported your spark. Make sure they know their contributions and thank them. Allow them to take a bow as we’d have them do if this was a physical ceremony.

As you look forward, I envision your spark becoming a blazing inferno! By your very acknowledgement here today, we see not only your spark, but we see your vision for the future. Here at my company, our CEO Asif Naseem has a saying, “Focus on what’s possible, not just on what’s predictable.” This means always focus on the best possible outcome instead of the expected outcome. You cannot achieve what you don’t pursue. Keep your focus there and I promise you that your possibilities are boundless.

Finally, be the spark for someone else. A blazing inferno can’t exist without starting with a spark. Be the spark. Without knowing it, you likely already are as many eyes are on you watching the way you live, learn, and work, but also by your recognition today. I’d encourage you not to settle for that. Look behind you to others in your school, community, and family and be the spark for them. Help them find their own spark by showing them yours. Choose to be a source for them as they aspire for their own dreams.

So, as you celebrate today, my hope for you is to look forward with confidence, look beside you with gratitude, and look behind you and extend your hand. Then…look in the mirror and be proud!

Congratulations Award Winners!
John Miller
NCWIT Wisconsin Affiliate – Board Member

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