AT&T invests in NMSU computer science program for women

Several young girls standing around a big check smiling

Surrounded by students who participate in the annual YWiC summer camp, Terri Nikole Baca from AT&T presents Leslie Cervantes from the NMSU Foundation with a giant check worth $14,550 that supports YWiC’s creation of a new camp for female high school seniors who will attend NMSU. (Photo by Angel Mendez)

Writer: Angel Mendez
Wednesday, June 14, 2018

Surrounded by dozens of students, AT&T representatives announced a new investment of $14,500 in New Mexico State University’s outreach program, Young Women in Computing.

This educational program offered through NMSU’s College of Arts and Sciences prepares female middle and high school students with the technical and soft skills needed for college and computer science careers.

The announcement was made on the first day of an annual YWiC summer camp on the NMSU campus in Las Cruces.

“I’m so impressed by everyone here today and proud that we can support you,” Terri Nikole Baca told the group. She is the director of external affairs for AT&T New Mexico. “The fact that you’re here during the summer to learn already proves to me that every woman in this room will be successful.”

The grant, written in partnership between YWiC and the NMSU Foundation, expands the program to create an additional summer camp for young women who are completing their final year of high school and will attend NMSU to study computer science.

“This new program bridges the current camp for middle and high school students to an academic career at NMSU,” said Clara Graham, YWiC program coordinator. “AT&T’s support grows our program to include more young women and provides a crucial leg up for our students who are pursuing a career in a field with substantial underrepresentation in gender and ethnicity.”

As part of the grant, NMSU and YWiC needed to demonstrate inclusiveness and specific service to New Mexico students and women of color. During the camp, students will partner with a cohort of current NMSU computer science students who share similar career aspirations and speak about life on campus. NMSU faculty along with industry partners will also help students visualize computing’s role as a creative discipline that makes positive changes in society in many ways.

“At the NMSU Foundation, we raise money every day for our current Aggie students,” said Andrea Tawney, president of the NMSU Foundation. “However, this generous grant from AT&T for NMSU community outreach is important to us; it’s an investment in our future Aggie students and our world, which is in critical need of more female industry professionals in computer science. It is important for young women to see other successful female students pursue careers that are traditionally male-dominated. Being mentored by NMSU students will have immeasurable outcomes for these women.”

The new YWiC summer camp is scheduled for August 6-10, and registration is currently open at