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Lanier High School student earns national computing award

April 28, 2023

     A national organization took notice of the computer science interests of a Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) student, presenting her with the National Computing Aspirations Award. Makenna Reilly, a Lanier High School student, was recognized by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). The organization honors young women at the high school level for their computing-related achievements and interests.

     GCPS’ Director of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science, Sallie Holloway, spoke about Makenna with pride. “NCWIT is a renowned national organization for elevating and recognizing the contributions of women in computing. Each year they recognize educators and students who are positively impacting women in computing. Makenna was selected as one of 40 national winners (out of 3,300+ applicants) for her achievements in computer science. Makenna is a student leader who started an all-girls robotics team and has created a safe space for other young women to explore their computing interests.” The 12th grader was among 400 high school students from 44 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and all U.S. overseas military bases commended for their interests and capabilities in computer science. 

     Each year, U.S. high school students in grades 9 through 12 who are women, genderqueer, or non-binary are eligible to receive recognition for their aptitude and aspirations in technology and computing, as demonstrated by their computing experience, computing-related activities, leadership experience, tenacity in the face of barriers to access, and plans for post-secondary education. This year, 40 winners and 360 honorable mentions were selected from more than 3,300 amazing, talented young applicants.

     Dr. Christopher Martin, principal of Lanier High School, was elated. “It is a tremendous honor for Makenna to be recognized for her talents in innovation and her aspirations, potential for change, and impact on future advancements in computing. She epitomizes the best of our campus, and her value to our school and community is beyond compare. We are so proud of her for having a voice and pursuing her passions,” he says. Makenna was honored for her achievements by the Gwinnett County Board of Education during its regular monthly meeting in April.

For more information on the NCWIT, click here.