Rich Freeman, ChannelPro’s Executive Editor, recapped CompTIA’s has inaugural winners of its AWIT Spotlight Awards. The first part of the article spotlights winner, Sarah Johnson, a recent high school graduate from Philadelphia and TechGirlz alum who received the first CompTIA/ChannelPro Cecilia Galvin Scholarship Award. The full article was originally published August 01, 2018 on ChannelPro Network.
Sarah Johnson (pictured left with her mother Audrey Johnson, who home-schooled her) is exactly the kind of person the AWIT leadership team had in mind for the award. A frequent participant in prestigious science and engineering fairs with a trophy case full of medals, she’s been fascinated by technology since kindergarten.
“I was really interested in finding different ways that things work and taking apart different things around the house,” she says.
That led to experimentation in robotics beginning in the sixth grade, and more recently to her invention of two GPS devices, one of which helps parents locate lost children. Built around a portable sensor, the system communicates its longitude and latitude via SMS messaging when queried by anxious parents. Johnson spent the better part of a year researching the unit’s engineering and components.
“It had to be affordable, because I knew my product had to be available to people who probably couldn’t pay $200 for a tracking device but still wanted to keep their child safe,” Johnson says.
Her other device, which is designed for use with people suffering from dementia, automatically sends a text message any time someone wearing it strays outside the perimeter of a home or assisted living facility.
Johnson has also been an active participant in TechGirlz, a Philadelphia non-profit and former CompTIA charitable grant recipient that encourages young women to cultivate an interest in IT. She has served the group as a technical teaching assistant and mentor to other young women with a passion for technology.
Johnson begins her freshman year at the New York Institute of Technology, in Manhattan, shortly. She plans to pursue a career as a hardware product designer.
“I don’t want to just be a part of the future. I want to invent the future,” she says.