Two Laramie students have been named winners of the National Center for Women and Informational Technology (NCWIT) Award for Aspirations in Computing.

According to a UW release, Laramie's Lia Eggleston and Jingyu Li were two of five female Wyoming High School students to win the award based on their computing achievements, proper leadership, good academic performance, and high college aspirations. UW and Western Wyoming Community College are affiliates of the NCWIT awards and assisted in selecting the five winners from across the state of Wyoming.

The Wyoming Affiliate Competition winners will be recognized during a luncheon at the University of Wyoming’s Women in Science Conference on May 14.

A UW release goes on to say Lia Eggleston, a freshman whose home schooled by her parents in Laramie says, “This

Lia Eggleston, a home-schooled freshman from Laramie, is one of five recipients from Wyoming to receive the NWCIT Computing Award

award is important to me because it represents the beginning of a journey. I am not super experienced in computing and programming yet, but my dreams and aspirations are big. I am very interested in a career in computing, and I want to explore subjects in arts and mathematics related to programming.”

The University says Eggleston is currently in India with her parents who are on a leave of absence. She was introduced to programming a year and a half ago and has taken free online courses offered by Coursera which is a social business that partners up with some of the world's top universities. Eggleston used the information she learned from these various online courses to build basic games, graphics, and other programs.

Jingyu Li, a junior at Laramie High School, is one of five recipients from Wyoming to receive the NWCIT Computing Award

The release goes on to say Laramie High School junior Jingyu Li was the second Laramie native to win the NCWIT award. Li says, “As I plan to pursue a career in applied mathematics and computer science, I appreciate being recognized for my achievements in computing. “I also hope this award will inspire more girls to develop their interest in computing.”

The University also states Li got her computer technology background with the help of her dad as she set up a server at home when she was just a freshman in high school. On that server she was able to learn how to use various different programs such as Java, PHP, and ColdFusion.

A UW release states the other three winners of the award were Rylee Marron of Cody High School, Blake Marquardt of East High School, and Korina Ike of Hulett High School.

According to the University, each winner will receive a trophy, swag bag, and a 64-gigabyte USB flash drive pre-loaded with a software development device according to Allyson Anderson, a senior lecturer in UW’s Computer Science Department.