Association Wins Blue Diamond Technology Award
Arrowood Business Association has won the
Diamond Award in the Community Outreach category for its work with
Alignment Southwest Charlotte and Olympic High School for their "cradle to career" community outreach program.
Through various partnerships with businesses and community
organizations, Alignment Southwest Charlotte develops technical talent by creating a sustainable platform for ongoing collaboration and support to the Olympic
High School K-12 feeder pattern.
This represents the third time in the past four years that an Olympic program has received a Best in Charlotte Technology Award.
Olympic student Faith Gowan was a finalist in the Student Innovator
Mike Realon of the Olympic Community of Schools, Faith Gowan,
Olympic Student, Jeanne Smith of Alignment Southwest Charlotte, and
Charles Wilkerson of the Arrowood Business Association and Alignment
The Blue Diamond Awards celebrate Charlotteís best in technology and position Charlotte as a hub of technology innovation and talent. They are presented by the Charlotte Area Technology Collaborative, whose mission is to strengthen the regionís economic development by connecting businesses, education, and organizations to promote and grow a diverse technology talent pipeline.
you would like to get involved in the Alignment Southwest Charlotte
initiative, please reach out to Charles Wilkerson of Steele Creek
Printing and Design at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-697-1755.
Class of 2018
My name is Faith Gowen. Iím
currently a senior at Olympic High School. As a freshman, I
didnít know what I wanted to do after I graduated; I just
knew Iíd be going to college. I loved drawing, but I wasnít
set on only pursuing a career or a degree in art. Through
Olympicís Business & Career Technical Coordinator, I was
given access to internships and programs that allowed me to
explore what I wanted out of both college and my career.
Iíve held internships in fields from psychology, to
childcare, to engineering all throughout my time in high
sophomore, I was introduced to the world of STEM (Science,
Technology, Engineering, and Math) through Olympic and its
IT Career Academy program. I participated in programs like
the Lenovo Scholars, where I first established my skills in
programming. I was also able to join drone assembly
academies, where I was able to improve my engineering skill
By having experience with programming, I was able
to interview for my first real-world STEM job as a software
developer intern for Livingston & Haven, a local tech
company. As an intern there, I programmed software for the
companyís use and learned the etiquette of jobs in formal
Over time, I used the knowledge Iíd
gained from my internships and after-school programs to win
programming competitions, as well as regional and national
awards in technology. Itís from the multitude of real-world
experiences that Iíve gained from my time at Olympic that
Iíve figured out what I want to do in the future. Iíve been
accepted into schools like the Georgia Institute of
Technology and the University of Notre Dame to study
computer engineering, but only because Iíve been able to
demonstrate the passion for technology I found through
Olympicís dedication to my career and college readiness.
Recently, I accepted a full scholarship to attend Duke
University after graduating, and I give credit to my 9-12
grade ďCareer for AllĒ experience at Olympic HS which
properly prepared me for college while exciting me about
onboarding a career pathway.