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2022 AIM Tech Awards to honor community leaders in technology

The 2022 AIM Tech Awards ceremony, presented by Cox Business, will once again honor the changemakers and visionaries of the Silicon Prairie with an awards show and dinner at Founders One | Nine, located at 1915 Jackson St. in downtown Omaha, on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 5:30 p.m. 

Awards will be presented to winners in the following categories: Tech Leader, Tech Educator, Tech High School Student, Tech College Student, Enterprise Business, Tech Startup and Tech Innovator of the Year.

The event will be hosted by Tony Veland, director of business and community development for AIM and Super Bowl-winning former NFL defensive back. The keynote speech will be given by Estefany Puc Nieto, a freshman at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln who launched her burgeoning tech career thanks to AIM’s code academy course at Omaha South High School. 

Admission is free and open to the general public, with donations encouraged. Tickets may be claimed via Eventbrite

Proceeds from the event will help support AIM Institute, a nonprofit organization that strengthens and diversifies the local tech community through education, career development and outreach. Donations are tax-deductible and will offset the cost to deliver services to at-risk and underserved populations who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience what AIM and its partners consider the profound benefits of a technology education.

Keynote speaker spotlight

Estefany Puc Nieto grew up in a household without much access to technology. The daughter of parents who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, Puc Nieto said she naturally gravitated toward tech as part of a generation that has essentially been online since birth. Through a connection she made at her school’s DECA program, Puc Nieto enrolled in AIM’s code academy at Omaha South High School, where she gained experience building websites with HTML, CSS and Javascript.

The experience changed her life. 

Before code academy, Puc Nieto was resistant to the idea of a technical career.

“I was like, ‘Robotics club? No, that’s for boys,’” she said.

Now a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she majors in computer engineering, Puc Nieto hopes to help erase the old gendered stereotypes that initially kept her away from her chosen career path.

“My main priority is to continue learning about new programs while I develop my leadership skills,” she said. “Because for me, it’s not only about my journey, but about being able to mentor—hopefully, within the next year—other girls of color so they can be more open-minded about engineering.”

For more information about the event or to make a donation, please visit

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