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Arrowood Business Association Wins Blue Diamond Technology Award

(April 15, 2018) The Arrowood Business Association has won the 2018 Blue 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.

 Additionally, Olympic student Faith Gowan was a finalist in the Student Innovator category.

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 Southwest Charlotte

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.


If 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 cw@steelecreekprinting.com or 704-697-1755.

Faith Gowen

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 school.

As a 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 set.

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 business settings.
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.

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