Bethpage High School senior Mackenzie Pech has received a national award thanks to her passion for technology and sharing of knowledge to encourage other young women and girls.
The National Center for Women in Technology ranked Pech 29th out of 15,000 applicants nationally and named her a New York regional winner as part of its Aspirations in Computing Award.
The award is given to female students for their computer achievements.
Pech's efforts include working with a teacher and a classmate on a tutoring app to match members of the high school's National Honor Society with peers in need of academic help. She also wants to launch a program to introduce the district's elementary-age girls to technology through games.
"I couldn't believe it," Pech said of winning. "As it sunk in, I realized I have an obligation to get more female students involved in technology. I think my enthusiasm is brushing off on them."
Pech applied online and answered questions about her leadership and programming skills. Her award included a new smartwatch and Beats by Dre headphones.
Pech is captain of Bethpage's Envirothon and soccer teams and a member of the school newspaper, Political Activities Club and Robotics Club.