European Digital Girl of the Year winners revealed

9 Dec 2016

Image: TheaDesign/Shutterstock

Ireland’s successful run of consecutive European Digital Girl of the Year awards ended with Cerys Lock and Gabrijela Juric, from England and Croatia respectively, taking 2016’s prize.

Both just 14 years of age, Cerys Lock and Gabrijela Juric yesterday (8 December) received their award at the fourth annual Ada Awards Ceremony in Brussels.

European Digital Girl of the Year

Over the past couple of years, Lock, whose motto is a rather apt: “If I can do it, you can too”, has gotten very involved with Raspberry Pi computers and now runs her own Raspberry Jam workshop in her hometown of Stafford.

She also helps at code club and visits events right across the UK, constantly campaigning for getting youngsters into technology. Her website RPistuff shows the talent she has for coding.

Meanwhile, Juric has been programming web and smartphone apps for a number of years, regularly building digital projects and getting involved in coding activities.

Her first project was a website to promote ICT to girls and women, with non-coding interests including archery and woodwind music.

Last year, Dubliner Niamh Scanlon won the prize, taking the award that fellow Irish girl Lauren Boyle won the year before.

Scanlon shared the prize with Yasmin Bey, a 14-year-old from England, who has been programming for seven years.

Scanlon learned to code at CoderDojo when she was nine, moving on to website design and app development soon after. Her site was set up a few years ago to help fellow young coders around Europe to hone their craft.

Since the award last year, Scanlon’s influence on the young tech scene has proved profound. In January, she represented CoderDojo at its most high-profile dojo to date, situated at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

In June, she spoke at a major GE conference in Paris, explaining the need to keep an open mind when it comes to hiring in the tech sector. That was before taking the stage at Inspirefest in July, with a TEDx talk in November rounding out a busy year for the teenager.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic