Atlanta, GA – November 15, 2012 – Women in Technology (WIT) announced Ariana Tyson, an eighth grader enrolled at Ron Clark Academy, as the inaugural winner of the Girls Get IT Girl of the Year (GOTY) award at its 13th annual Women of the Year in Technology Awards, presented by Grant Thornton last week. The GOTY award was created as part of WIT’s commitment to support the entire lifecycle of a woman’s career in technology. 

Girls Get IT, a signature program of the WIT Foundation, is focused on collaboration with the Georgia business and educational community to inspire girls in middle and high school to choose careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The GOTY award recognizes a girl who has demonstrated a strong interest in science, technology, engineering or math, who has been fully engaged in one or more Girls Get IT programs in 2012, who is respectful and encouraging to others, who is credited with exemplary performance in education and school citizenship, and who has created a lasting and positive impression on a Girls Get IT sponsoring host and WIT member.

Ariana has been involved in the CEISMIC program (Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing) and the ICE program (Institute for Computing Education) at Georgia Tech since 2007. She has also sat on the student panel at Cool Computing for Georgia Tech, and is a lead programmer on the award winning Lego FLL team for The Ron Clark Academy. She also attends the Ben Carson Science Academy at the Morehouse School of Medicine, and is at the Cadette level in the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta/Norcross Service Unit/Troop 229. Ariana was also a member of the S.A.I.L Leadership Team on the website committee for the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta website. At the Ron Clark Academy, she also participates in Junior Achievement, an organization focused on economic, education and workforce development.

This year, Ariana has actively participated in three Girls Get IT Behind-The-Scenes programs, which were hosted by the Georgia Tech Nanotechnology Center and IBM (two programs). Learn more about the Girls Get IT program.

“We couldn’t be more proud of Ariana for her accomplishments,” said Jannet Walker, president of the WIT Foundation. “This inspiring young lady embodies what the Girls Get IT program is all about. We look forward to her continued involvement in WIT throughout the entire course of what I’m sure will be a successful career in technology. Perhaps she will one day be the winner of the Women of the Year in Technology award.”

Also presented at the event:

Women of the Year in Technology:

The Women of the Year in Technology Awards recognize the accomplishments of Georgia’s women executives in technology and their impact on their communities.  One winner from each of three categories representing small, medium and enterprise businesses has been selected.

Small/Emerging Category Winner: Jackie Breiter, Chief Information Officer, Goizueta Business School, Emory University

Mid-Market/Medium Category Winner: Lora Weiss, Chief Lab Scientist, ATAS Laboratory, Georgia Tech Research Institute

Enterprise Category Winner: Carolyn Holcomb, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers

WIT Legacy Award:

André Schnabl, partner emeritus at global audit, tax and advisory organization Grant Thornton LLP, received WIT’s Legacy Award. The Legacy Award was created to recognize extraordinary individuals who have inspired others and provided significant impact to the technology community, particularly in support and development of female professionals, over the course of their career. 

For more information about the awards, visit www.mywit.org.

About Grant Thornton, Presenting Sponsor

The people in the independent firms of Grant Thornton International Ltd provide personalized attention and the highest quality service to public and private clients in more than 100 countries. Grant Thornton LLP is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the six global audit, tax and advisory organizations. Grant Thornton International Ltd and its member firms are not a worldwide partnership, as each member firm is a separate and distinct legal entity.

In the U.S., visit Grant Thornton LLP at www.GrantThornton.com.