2021 ITWomen Scholarship Winners for Tech and Engineering STEM Degrees

ITWomen has selected four outstanding young women to each receive $8,000 college scholarships to pursue degrees in technology and engineering in the STEM track. Their fields of study range from Computer Science to Bio Medical Engineering and Chemical Environmental Engineering.

Fabiana Gonzalez will be pursuing a degree in Chemical / Environmental Engineering at the University of Florida. She graduated from MDC Advanced School of Studies, Miami Dade. Her activities at MDC included many volunteer roles, including high school math tutor and a mentor to foster kids. In extracurricular activities, she served as Treasurer of IBS, membership in SECME.

Natalie Kwak will be pursuing a degree in Computer Science at the University of Florida. She graduated from Nova High School in Broward County and is an award winner from NCWIT. Her activities included three years of teaching coding to youth at Code Ninja and participating in varsity teams and various clubs. Natalie was inspired by attending ITWomen’s Summer Coding Camp in 2020 and she will be supporting ITWomen’s summer camp this year.

Laura Scarpelli will be pursuing a degree in Bio Medical Engineering at Duke University. Her dream is to work for NASA in biomedical programs. She graduated from Doral Academy Charter School in Miami.  Laura served as president of her Student Council, achieved National Science Honors and served in several clubs.

Mackenzie Thies will be pursuing a Computer Science degree at Georgia Tech. She graduated from Dillard High School in Broward County. An AP Scholar and finalist in a school leadership award, Mackenzie is passionate about ensuring black communities gain financial and digital literacy.

2021 Virtual Scholarship Awards Ceremony June 9

The students were awarded their scholarships at a virtual awards ceremony Wednesday evening, June 9. Each expressed their thanks, including Mackenzie Theis:

“I am so overwhelmed by such a gracious gift, one that stretches beyond the amazing opportunities of the scholarship itself! I am beyond grateful. Thank you so much for selecting me and believing in my future!”

ITWomen president Claire Marrero invited the students and their parents to learn more about the benefits of being an ITWomen scholar at the ceremony. The awards benefit also gives the young women a chance to meet their fellow scholars and connect with ITWomen Board members.

Margaret Brisbane, Mentorship Chair, Sharon Moura and Krista Theodore were among the Board members who spoke to the girls.

 Ann Dozier, award-winning Chief Information Officer of Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, a Corporate Scholarship Sponsor for 2021, shared a few words. “I am just amazed at the capabilities of these women that have achieved these scholarships. Congratulations to all of you. I look forward to getting to know all of you as you go through your journey at some amazing universities, and hopefully you’re going to come back to the Florida area and continue to help us grow women in technology.”

ITWomen scholarships go beyond the financial award of $8,000 disbursed over the course of four years. ITWomen scholars are paired with female tech professionals to serve as mentors through their college journey and will receive a substantial Goody Bag with dorm essentials to begin their first year.

At the virtual awards ceremony, ITWomen presented 2021 Scholars a Goody Bag filled with dorm essentials to start their college journey, including a laptop or $500 voucher, Kurig coffee maker, backpack donated by Ultimate Software, a copy of Alana Karen’s book, The Adventures of Women in Tech, and more.

ITWomen Scholarship Sponsors, Donors and Supporters

Since 2004, ITWomen has raised $818,000 for ITWomen Charitable Foundation scholarships and helped 130 girls from high schools in South Florida achieve their dreams for a future in tech. It’s all a part of ITWomen’s mission to raise the ratio and impact of women in technology.

A special shout goes out to our scholarship selection committee, which had the extremely difficult task of choosing from so many amazing applicants: ITWomen President Claire Marrero, Susan Clemmons, Kirsty Dyson, and Shawna Cartwright. Recognition to Meena Mani for facilitating the rollout of a new scholarship selection platform.

ITWomen is grateful to the scholarship sponsors, donors and supporters who made this year’s scholarships possible.

ITWomen Sustaining Sponsor:
Scholarship Sponsors (who each funded a scholarship):
Peggy Johnson
Signature Consultants
Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits

Scholarship Donors:

Scholarship Ambassadors
Sharon T. Moura (FB page fundraiser) Joe & Sharon Moura, Alana Karen, Myrna Monserrat, Debra Hill, Victoria Usherenko, Vinita Rajpal, Francisco Matos, Kirsty Dyson, Shannon Harrod, Ivonne Diaz, Tal Zlotnitsky, Mark Willey, Danielle Cullison, Sheila Leathem, Debbie Rodriguez, Tina Patel, Melanie Gomez. Carlos V Roman, Elizabeth Decker and David McQuin

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