Sunday, September 14, 2014

Member on the Move: Midge Johnson ('They Didn't Get That Way By Themselves')

Earl Pace, Midge Johnson, Wayne Hicks
Margaret 'Midge' Johnson has a powerful legacy within BDPA. She served as the BDPA Washington DC chapter president in 1989-1990. Her chapter's HSCC team finished in second (1989) and first (1990) place during those two years. Her chapter hosted the 1990 National BDPA Technology Conference. Midge subsequently became the first-ever executive director for National BDPA.

Midge is now a 70 year-old mother and grandmother with a career in the Information Technology industry that spanned over 50 years until her recent retirement from GEICO. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management and a Master's Degree in Public Administration with a specialization in Management Systems Analysis. Her degrees were earned over a period of 16 years of going to school at night and on the weekends. During those 16 years she was married, worked a full time job and she was mother to two sons and a daughter. She has been a married parent and a single parent. She is currently a member of Rainbow Family Christian Center in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Midge wrote a book entitled, 'They Didn't Get That Way By Themselves'. The book has a remarkable narrative, funny stories, the wisdom and the Word of God along with prayers. Use them all to train your children to prepare them for growing up to be responsible, self-reliant adults with integrity.

Midge grew up in a home with both parents after the first three years of her life (her father went off to World War II about 3 days after she was born). Her mother lived with her father's mother until he came back from the war. She had the benefit of both parents for about 6 of her first 15 years (her parents would separate and go back together intermittently). After that time, her mother raised her with the help of her paternal grandmother and her estranged father. She learned, observed and heard a lot of things related to "training" children through the years and decided that maybe she could help new parents and maybe some who were already parents.
"I didn't always make the best decisions concerning my children but I sure gave it my best based on what I experienced, what I was taught and what I learned as they grew. In retrospect, I have accumulated some nuggets on "training" children that eventually worked for my children as well as for my grandchildren."
Well done Midge! Now it is up to BDPA members and supporters to remember that old adage, 'BUY BDPA'!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

8th Annual Blogging While Brown Conference (June 19-20, 2015)

'BDPAers' are encouraged to mark your calendars with an eye towards attending the 8th Annual Blogging While Brown conference on June 19-20, 2015 in Austin, TX. Austin is a thriving tech-centric city and is where the Blogging While Brown operation is headquartered. Early registration will open soon.

For information about sponsoring Blogging While Brown 2015, email Joi Gamble, director of Brand Partnerships at

Friday, September 12, 2014

Third Annual Verizon Innovative App Challenge, Designed to Spark Students' Interest in STEM, Now Open for Entries

The Verizon Innovative App Challenge, now in its third year, is once again calling on middle school and high school students to gather their teams, dream up ideas, and create concepts for mobile apps that could solve problems in their schools and communities.

The first two Verizon Innovative App Challenges have encouraged thousands of students to develop an interest in [STEM] and have awarded cash grants totaling $340,000 - and 130 new tablets, courtesy of Samsung Telecommunications America - to winning teams. Verizon is extending the program as part of its commitment to the Obama administration's ConnectED initiative, to which the company has pledged up to $100 million in cash and in-kind contributions over the next three years.

Read the rest of the Verizon news release.

Rest in Peace: Tim Benson (1960-2009)

Tim Benson was a founding member of our BDPA chapter in Lansing, MI. He passed away on September 12, 2009 at the age of 48.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Classroom to the Boardroom: Della Anjeh (Pomona College)

Della Anjeh is entering her junior year at Pomona College where she majors in computer science. She is a member of our BDPA St. Louis chapter and participated in 2011 and 2012 on the chapter's High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team. She earned a Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship when her HSCC team took home the silver medal in 2012. Later she earned a Monsanto Scholarship ... also administered by the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation. Part of her application included an essay entitled, 'Communication, Knowledge and Innovation: Outcomes of Technological Advancement in Agriculture'.

Della currently is the webmaster for New Ideas Education, a start-up that allows Chinese students to improve English by video chatting with college students. Della also runs the College Lowdown, a podcast that gives advice on what it’s like to navigate and study at an elite college for low-income and first generation students. Della plans to work in the tech world and isn’t quite sure which area she wishes to pursue, but figures it will be in either data structures or design.

We asked Della to share thoughts about her BDPA experience:

Della Anjeh
"Ever since I received the email in ninth grade that an after school computer teaching club called BDPA would meet on Wednesdays, I never knew that it would lead to me becoming a second place national champion at the 2012 BDPA conference, that I would become the lead webmaster for a start-up, or that I would major in computer science at one of the best schools in the country. It’s just one of those things that turned out to be bigger than I ever anticipated.

I remember being at the conference in Chicago during the oral question part of the competition. For fun, our team learned from a YouTube video to count in binary with our fingers, so for every binary question our team or the other teams received, we would quietly count with our fingers together. Needless to say, we were always correct. I also remember the courses in robotics we took that taught me a lot about an aspect of computer science that at that point I hadn’t had to opportunity to explore. And of course, I’ll never forget when we were called out as the second place team in the competition that year. It was amazing especially since I was going off to college in a few weeks making 2012 my last year to be eligible to compete in the HSCC championship. All the hard work I put in since 9th grade and up to my senior year of high school truly paid off.

I can’t ever forget what BDPA has done for me, and I continue to reap the benefits of the program now as I’m starting my 3rd year of college, and my first semester as a declared computer science major. I have no idea what my future will be like, but I know that BDPA will continue to stay in my mind as one of the places I felt that I could let my talent shine."

BDPA created the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship program to propel students in our community from the classroom to the boardroom. We want our children to have their best chance to 'win the future' by getting grounded in science, technology, education and mathematics. Della is showing us that we're on the right track. We need your help to keep it going! Would you please consider making a secure online donation to support BDPA programs, scholarships and services?

Remembering 9/11

The initial numbers are indelible: 8:46 a.m. and 9:02 a.m. Time the burning towers stood: 56 minutes and 102 minutes. Time they took to fall: 12 seconds. From there, they ripple out.

  • Total number killed in attacks: 2,819
  • Number of WTC companies that lost people: 60
  • Number of nations whose citizens were killed in attacks: 115
  • Ratio of men to women who died: 3:1
  • Bodies found "intact": 289
  • Body parts found: 19,858
  • Number of families who got no remains: 1,717
  • Number of people who lost a spouse or partner in the attacks: 1,609
  • Estimated number of children who lost a parent: 3,051
  • Days fires continued to burn after the attack: 99

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

18th Annual BDPA Cincinnati Education Banquet

Ceair Baggett
BDPA Cincinnati is the 2nd largest chapter in the nation. This chapter experienced wonderful success from its high school and college students at the national conference last month. The chapter now extends invitation to all BDPA members, sponsors and stakeholders to attend its 18th Annual Education Banquet on Saturday, October 4, 2014.

One of the highlights of the event will be the keynote speech by Ceair Baggett, the newly selected principal for Ethel M. Taylor Academy. Before coming to Taylor, Mr. Baggett served as Assistant Principal for Robert A. Taft Information Technical High School and Gilbert A. Dater High School respectively. Ceair participated in BDPA computer camp as a high school student. It is wonderful to have him now as our keynoter speaker to honor the students who participated in the program this year.

Here are the logistic for this banquet:

Saturday, October 4, 2014
4:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Receptions Conference Centers
5975 Boymel Dr
Fairfield, OH 45014

Tickets: $40.00 per person

You can purchase or donate banquet tickets here.   For rates on tables and ads, please contact us at (513) 549-6441 or

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

BDPA iRadio Show - September 9, 2014

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is very proud to be the creator of the BDPA iRadio Show. You can listen to the archive version of the show using the widget shown in the right-hand sidebar of this blog. FREE download from the iTunes Store is also available for our listeners!

Check Out Technology Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with BDPA on BlogTalkRadio

The guest on the September 9th show:

Joneé Drake - Associate Information Consultant, Eli Lilly and Company - Joneé Drake is an IT business analyst with Eli Lilly and Company. She has a number of IT certifications and she is well-respected within her company and her community.  Joneé also has a unique place in BDPA folklore ... she was a member of the 1992 High School Computer Competition team trained by our BDPA Northwest Indiana chapter! Joneé continues her march on the journey of 'classroom to boardroom' that we admire within the BDPA family. Joneé graduated from Purdue University after leaving Gary, IN. She has worked at Eli Lilly for her entire professional career ... and current BDPA students still benefit from the work that she did to establish the annual Eli Lilly Scholarship for BDPA Students. Our BDPA iRadio Show listeners enjoyed hearing her unique perspective on BDPA as both a student and an IT professional.

Anjuan Simmons - Project Manager, OnCenter Software - Anjuan Simmons is a technologist with a successful track record of delivering technology solutions from the user interface to the database. He is currently a software project manager at a leading construction software manufacturer, and he worked as a technology executive for Infosys, Accenture, and Deloitte, all multi-billion dollar technology services companies with hundreds of clients around the world.

He is also the author of Minority Tech: Journaling Through Blackness and Technology. This book is an essay anthology covering the author’s experiences as an African American man in a society that often misunderstands Blackness, the need for people of color to own their destinies, and the value that diversity can bring to the technology industry. We are pleased to bring the unique musings of Anjuan Simmons to our BDPA iRadio audience.  Anjuan can be found on Twitter - @anjuan

We hope you enjoy the insights and commentary on the show from each of these guests. Please take a moment to post a comment to let us know that you care!
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Monday, September 8, 2014

BDPA Mobile Application Showcase: Richard Watts III (Central Illinois)

BDPA Central Illinois member Richard Watts III (University High School) earned first place (and a $6,500 college scholarship from State Farm!) for his efforts during the 1st Annual BDPA Mobile Application Showcase.

BDPA used this initiative to expose its student members to mobile application development and showcase the students' expertise during the annual national technology conference. The students were provided with foundation training for mobile application development and mentoring throughout the pilot. The 2014 BDPA Mobile Application Showcase featured high school and college students that designed, developed and deployed a mobile application (business, personal productivity or game) to a mobile device for display at the national conference.

L-R: Craig Brown, Markita Payne, Michael Tyson, Richard Watts III, Tonji Zimmerman, Jason Gibson
The BDPA Mobile Application Showcase was sponsored by State Farm.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Grant Proposal: The Kroger Foundation (Cincinnati)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) partnered with BDPA Cincinnati to submit a grant proposal to The Kroger Foundation seeking $5,000 funding to support the chapter's 2015 Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program.

The objective of our SITES program in Cincinnati is to effectively use technology to stimulate and sustain the interest of young people in science and technology. BDPA Cincinnati is qualified to deliver this proactive youth education project. BDPA seeks an increased interest from parents and students alike on basic science, technology, engineering and math knowledge and integration of science, technology, math and health awareness in their lives.

BDPA introduces computers and basic software programming as well as more advanced computer programming to traditionally underrepresented students in our community. BDPA partners with local universities to improve the technical awareness, engagement, health awareness and job opportunities of high school and college students, in particular those considering attending Brown Mackie College, Cincinnati State Technical College, Northern Kentucky University, Per Scholas and the University of Cincinnati.

BETF would love to submit a joint grant proposal with all 46 local BDPA chapters. The process is simple enough. Just reach out to the BETF executive director if you have questions or wish to discuss further. In the meantime, wish luck to Dalric Webb (chapter president) and Ellery Lewis (chapter vice president of fundraising) as they seek to quickly identify full funding for the chapter's 2015 SITES program.

You can help by purchasing a ticket or an ad for the chapter's 18th Annual BDPA Education Banquet honoring the students, volunteers and sponsors of the highly successful 2014 SITES program in Cincinnati!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Alcatel-Lucent Foundation

The purpose of the Alcatel-Lucent Foundation is to support the local communities where Alcatel-Lucent employees work and live in the United States and around the world. Alcatel-Lucent teams analyze the diverse needs within those communities and make careful decisions about the programs that Alcatel-Lucent will support to better the communities where its employees work and live.

For more information, you can email