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Published May 21st, 2014
Tech Trek and Scholarship Winners an Inspiration
Scholarship Award winners, from left: Karen Trang, speaker Dr. Marinda Wu, Linda Phung, Samantha Garcia, and Emma Patton. Photos provided

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) - Orinda-Moraga-Lafayette (OML) Branch sponsored six tech trek and scholarship awardees, who wowed an audience with their passion and drive at a April 27 celebration and awards meeting. Marinda Wu gave an inspirational presentation by about the challenges she faced as she pursued her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at a time when few women were entering such fields. Prior to her presentation, these outstanding young women spoke about their work, their talents, and their dreams for the future.
Jane Fong of Orinda Intermediate School is a builder who wants to create safe buildings to save lives; Dara Kazmierowski of OIS loves biology and is focused on a career in science or medicine; Ally Scarpitti of Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School has been a passionate "techie" since she was 5 years old and helps family, friends, and even neighbors with technology challenges; Sharon Yuan of JM is a curious, big thinker who loves many areas of science including computer programming, biology, and medical science; Claire Gallagher of Stanley Middle School exudes enthusiasm for math and science and hopes to build a robot that can explore the ocean so she can combine being an engineer and an oceanographer; and Sofia Elise West of Stanley is interested in engineering and math, with a possible career in chemical engineering or veterinary medicine. She built a hovercraft for a science fair.
The six Lamorinda middle school girls will attend the Grace Hopper Tech Trek camp on the Stanford University campus in July. Since 1998, AAUW OML has sent 59 girls to Tech Trek camp. This year, science, math, and technology teachers at local intermediate schools nominated 40 girls for Tech Trek camp.
In addition to these six award winners, the following four young college age women were acknowledged for their academic achievements and passion for the sciences with scholarships: Karen Trang ($5,000 award from the Gayle Ulkema gift), Saint Mary's College; Linda Phung ($5,000 award from the Gayle Ulkema gift), Miramonte High School; Samantha Garcia ($800 from the AAUW-OML), Campolindo High School; and Emma Patton ($800 from the AAUW-OML), Miramonte High School.
For more information about AAUW-OML, visit http://oml-ca.aauw.net/.

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Tech Trek Scholarship winners, from left: Sharon Yuan, Claire Gallagher, Sofia Elise West, Dara Kazmierowski, Dr. Marinda Wu, speaker, Ally Scarpitti, and Jane Fong.  

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