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Two students win computer science Aspirations Award

students from Paul W. Bryant High School

Two students win Computer Science Aspirations Award

Two Bryant High School students received the state award for Aspirations in Computing from the National Center for Women & Information Technology.

It is the second consecutive year that a student from Bryant has received the award, which recognizes 9th-12th grade women, genderqueer, or non-binary students for their computing-related achievements and interests, as part of an effort to encourage a diverse range of students to choose careers in technology.

“It feels good to get the award, because I was always interested in programming, but I never learned how to do it until I got to high school,” said 10th grader Ashonti McClain, one of the award winners. “It was difficult at first, but I had classmates to help me in computer science class, so I got it pretty quickly after that.”

McClain, along with 12th grader Kamya Taylor, who also won the award, both went to a computer programing camp Legacy, for girls at The University of Alabama last summer. That camp really jumpstarted an interest in computer programming, Taylor said.

“The whole thing was basically putting me in a position to learn the basics of computer programming,” Taylor said of the Legacy camp. “My favorite thing is testing myself, pushing myself into an area that I had no experience in.”

While McClain plans to continue studying AP computer science at PWBHS next year as a junior, Taylor said she plans on going to Shelton State for two years before transferring to Auburn University. She plans on majoring in Veterinary Science with a minor in computer science.

“I’m super proud of them,” said their computer science teacher Destiny Langford. “They have killed it in my class, and they deserve it.”