Saturday, August 23, 2014

Grant Disbursement: BDPA Cincinnati ($2,000)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is pleased to announce it has made a $2,000 grant disbursement to the BDPA Cincinnati chapter. The chapter president, Dalric Webb, requested the funding to support 18th Annual Education Banquet to honor the students and volunteers who participated in the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program this year. BDPA Cincinnati will have a lot to celebrate as its students did quite well at the 2014 BDPA Technology Conference held earlier this month in Indianapolis.

BETF encourages all local chapters to take a moment to review the SITES funding guidelines. BETF seeks to support the 2015 SITES funding needs for all 46 local chapters. Click here to learn more about the process that Cincinnati chapter successfully used to obtain this $2,000 grant disbursement!

Friday, August 22, 2014

What Do Pandora, Indiegogo and Ferguson Police Have in Common? Unable to Hire Black Folks!

Both Pandora and Indiegogo released diversity reports today that highlight an absence of African American employees. The companies join a bandwagon of tech brands that have been releasing similar reports throughout the summer.

At Pandora, approximately 3% of its 1,300 or so employees are African American and 4% are Hispanic.  That is the same percentage of African Americans as you find in the Ferguson, Missouri police department ... and we see how that worked out!   The low numbers are notable given that the company is located in Oakland, where about 28% of the total population is African American and 25% is Hispanic. The percentage of African Americans is even lower in leadership and tech roles, where they represent only 1.1 and 2.8% of employees. In contrast 6.3% of Pandora's leadership is Hispanic.

At Indiegogo, a company of slightly more than 100 employees, only 2% of total employees are African American, and the group is not represented in leadership or tech positions.

Read the rest of the TechCrunch article.

Rest in Peace: Brandon Robert Gardner (1984-2009)

All members of the BDPA Education & Technology Foundation (BETF) family were saddened to learn of the death of Brandon Robert Gardner (1984-2009).

Brandon attended at least five national BDPA technology conferences ... including the 1999 conference in which he participated as a member of the Los Angeles chapter high school computer competition (HSCC) team.

Brandon helped to coach and chaperone the LA chapter HSCC team the next year when the national championship took place in Chicago. He is also remembered for making outstanding program meeting presentations on the Internet for his west coast chapter.

Brandon's dad, Robert, served as BDPA Los Angeles chapter president in 1999-2000. The entire Gardner family dealt with the rare disease, San Joacquin Valley Fever, for many years. Brandon lost his battle with the disease on August 22, 2009.
To the Gardner family, we say, "Hold tight to memories for comfort, lean on your friends for strength and always remember how much you are cared about."
To our young prince, Brandon Robert Gardner, we say, "Rest in peace."
BDPA Los Angeles chapter created the Brandon Gardner Memorial Scholarship Fund to honor the memory of this young man.   Contact BETF by phone (513.284-4968) or email if you would like to make a tax-deductible pledge to the BDPA Los Angeles Chapter Fund in Brandon's memory.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bemley Scholar Alex Li Seeks Engineering Degree from University of Maryland

Alex Li
Alex Li has been part of the BDPA computer camps hosted each Saturday by our BDPA Washington DC chapter for the past five years. He earned a place on the chapter's national High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team in 2012-2014.  The excellent performance by his HSCC team in 2013 (4th place) and 2014 (1st place) earned this young squire $2,500 in college scholarships from the Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship Fund.

Alex graduated from Poolesville High School in June 2014. He now attends the University of Maryland College Park where he plans to double-major in Electrical Engineering and either Finance or Business Management. He has been focused entirely on his education so he doesn't have any employment experience at this point. Our hope is that one of our BDPA corporate sponsors will scoop Alex up for a summer internship next year. Alex tells us that his ultimate career goal is to start and manage his own company!

We asked Alex to share some memories of his BDPA experience with our blog readers:
"When I first joined BDPA Washington DC in the 8th grade, I did not know what to expect. I was unfamiliar with the group and the subject matter for the weekend computer camp. I had very little understanding of what programming was and what it was used for. Over the course of the past five years in the BDPA program I have been enlightened to a whole new world of computer programming and information systems.

BDPA steered me towards the undergraduate degree I will soon be obtaining. I never considered majoring in something like computer science or electrical engineering. Participating and competing in BDPA has opened countless new opportunities for me. The experience I gained these five years convinced me to pursue a career in the STEM field.

2014 National HSCC Champions! Alex is 2nd from right.
My most memorable moment in BDPA came earlier this month when my teammates and I were called up to the stage to be recognized for winning the gold medal in 2014 National BDPA HSCC Championship. I was very grateful when my team won first place after working for five years towards that goal."
Alex is a remarkable young man. He is the reason that the BDPA volunteers in Washington DC and around the nation work so hard to advance the careers of people in our community 'from the classroom to the boardroom'. You can help. Please take a moment and make a secure online donation in support of BDPA programs, scholarships and services. Do it today. Let's work to give out twice as many college scholarships next year!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Cincinnati Students Earn $15,625 in STEM Scholarships at BDPA Conference

BDPA Cincinnati chapter, led by chapter president Dalric Webb (GE), sent a contingent of seven high school and college students to the 36th annual BDPA Technology Conference earlier this month in Indianapolis. Those students participated in a variety of STEM-based competitions that including a high school computer competition (HSCC), IT showcase and mobile application showcase. These young people came home from the conference with $15,625 in college scholarships!

The chapter trained 14 students at Cincinnati State Technical College in a computer camp that met for 4-5 hours each Saturday for the first six months of the year.  The computer camp was led by volunteer instructors Deborah Prince (xpedx) and Frank Hill (Hiltronics Computer Associates).

L-R: Dalric Webb, Yaw Asante, Jon Carr, Wayne Hicks,
Austin Murph, Deborah Prince, Hasani Harrigan, Frank Hill
Four high school students were selected to compete as part of the chapter's national HSCC team in a comprehensive 3-part competition (oral, written and 7-hour coding).  The The four HSCC students are: Yaw Asante (Walnut Hills High School), Jon Carr (St. Xavier High School), Hasani Harrigan (Seven Hills High School) and Austin Murph (Seven Hills High School). These four students earned a 5th place finish (out of 46 eligible teams) during two days of the competition. Each of these students earned a $500 Jesse Bemley Scholarship as a result of their high performance.

Hasani Harrigan added to his college scholarship booty by earning a $3,125 college scholarship from Oracle. The Oracle Corporation Scholarship goes to student members pursuing careers in engineering, computer and information science, computer engineering or mathematics. Hasani is a very deserving young man who has been engaged in STEM-training from BDPA over the past three years.

Dylan Gunn is a college student member who left Cincinnati to attend North Carolina A&T University. Dylan won a $5,000 Eli Lilly Scholarship for BDPA Students. The scholarship recognizes outstanding minority students, with an interest in information technology, who make significant contributions to society. Applicants must excel academically, show exceptional leadership potential, and make an impact on their communities through service to others.

Another remarkable talent who shined brightly during this annual technology conference was Itobore Odje (University of Cincinnati). Itobore participated in the 1st annual BDPA Mobile Application Showcase and came away with the silver medal as well as a $5,500 college scholarship funded by State Farm.

BDPA plans to honor each of these students ... including BDPA IT Showcase participant Brian Pulliam (Sinclair Community College) ... at its 18th annual BDPA Education Banquet on Sunday, October 4, 2014 at Receptions in Fairfield, Ohio. We encourage you to join us for this wonderful event in which we have a chance to celebrate the positive accomplishments of students and volunteers in our community!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Where Are They Now: 1976 BDPA Officers

BDPA first year of operation was in 1976. That year was devoted to stabilizing the young organization. Highlights of the year included presentations on such topics as Computer Security, Use of Data Processing in the Securities Field, Data Processing from a Users' View, Entry Level Data Processing, and the Automated Office of the Future.

The year ended with 35 members.

The following officers were elected or appointed in June 1976:
  • President - Earl Pace Jr.
  • Vice President - Ralph Gordon
  • Secretary - Charles Jones Jr. (deceased)
  • Treasurer - Mary Ann Lowery
  • Program Committee - Craig Bethea, Roy Barnes (deceased), Douglas Funderburg
  • Membership Committee - James Moten (deceased), Howard James and Edward Royster
Of course, we are blessed to see Earl Pace regularly at BDPA board meetings and the annual conference. Mary Ann Lowery served as national BDPA treasurer well into the 1990s. Howard James served as BDPA Philadelphia chapter president in the 1990s. Howard is currently an entrepreneur building a business in the growing tea industry.

However, we don't see the other officers from 1976 as often. Where are they now?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Member on the Move: Stephanie Lampkin (Hoowenware)

It has been a few years since we've updated our blog readers on the story of Stephanie Lampkin. Stephanie embodies the BDPA motto of 'classroom to the boardroom'. She began her BDPA journey as a member of the 2000 High School Computer Competition team trained by BDPA Washington DC chapter.

Stephanie Lampkin
Her journey now continues in the 'boardroom' as the founder and chief executive officer of Hoowenware, a travel management & collaboration platform that integrates commonly used tools to create a seamless group travel experience. Stephanie recently concluded her crowdfunding campaign and now she is fundraising for equity stake in her start-up company.

Stephanie is also open to doing small web development or business development contracts as she continues to build her company. The demo for Hoowenware is live and we encourage our blog readers to check it out! Stephanie build everything herself including the logo (photoshop), video ( and website ( You are encouraged to click every button and link on the demo website. There is a survey link in the upper right corner and Stephanie would love to get your candid and useful feedback.

Our understanding is that the first version of the web application will be completed by the end of this month and the Android application will be completed by the end of October. We often talk about the importance of supporting our own entrepreneurs and business owners. Well, here is a chance to do just that ... next step is yours!

You can find Stephanie (@stephaneurial) and her company (@hoowenware) on Twitter!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Rest in Peace: Wintino Jones (1958-2009)

Wintino Jones passed away in August 2009 at a Philadelphia hospital. I last saw Wintino the week before his death in Raleigh NC for the national BDPA conference. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us.

Wintino is one of the most loyal and devoted BDPA brothers that I ever met. He never sought fanfare. You were as likely to see Wintino in the back of the room or on a lobby couch as you were to see him on stage. However, his warm and welcome greeting whenever you saw him was not to be missed or forgotten. I worked with Wintino back in the day on BDPA membership issues. He always brought a smile to my face with his humor and with his ability to 'cut to the chase'.

In recent years I would see Wintino at the annual conference. He was a wonderful bid whist partner if you were lucky enough to sit across from him. I will miss Wintino. My prayers go out to his wife, children and family.

Rest in peace Bro. Jones...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Grant Award: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center ($1,000)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is pleased to announce that the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) agreed to a $1,000 funding grant in support of BDPA Cincinnati chapter. BDPA Cincinnati chapter president Dalric Webb partnered with BETF in early July to submit a grant proposal to CCHMC seeking funding for the chapter's Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program.
John Scott, CCHMC community relations senior specialist wrote, "Thank you for your interest in Cincinnati Children’s. It is our pleasure to support the BDPA Cincinnati chapter SITES program with a $1,000 sponsorship. Per our guidelines, funds should go towards supporting efforts in the local Cincinnati regional community and not be used for travel expenses. We trust that this support will help disadvantaged youth further progress and learn skills associated with science, technology, engineering and math."
The chapter plans to recognize CCHMC for its support at the 18th annual BDPA Cincinnati Education Banquet scheduled to take place on October 4, 2014. That banquet will provide a venue to recognize the students, parents, volunteers and sponsors who worked so hard this year in delivery of over two dozen computer camp sessions, Mobile Application Showcase participation and an outstanding Midwest Region High School Computer Competition and IT Showcase. The funding helps to continue the good works of BDPA in the greater Cincinnati area.

We encourage all 46 local BDPA chapters to reach out to BETF if they need grant or funding support! BETF exists to help shine the spotlight on BDPA programs, scholarships and services. The more we work together ... the more funds we can place into the mix on a local, regional and national level.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Grant Proposal: Chichester duPont Foundation ($22,654)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) partnered with BDPA New York to submit a grant proposal to the Chichester duPont Foundation seeking $22,654 funding for the chapter's Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. The objective of our SITES program in the New York area is to effectively use technology to stimulate and sustain the interest of young people in science and technology. BDPA New York chapter is actively working to address the technology disparity within our minority communities and close the gap towards improving the lives of those underserved in the areas where we live and work.

HSCC Team (NY, 2012)
This is the first joint grant proposal BETF has worked with BDPA New York chapter president Tyrone McKinney. However, we look forward to working with Tyrone and his leadership team to obtain all the funding that they need to support their 2015 SITES program. We encourage the other 45 local BDPA chapters to take a moment to review available BETF grant and funding support. We also encourage those of you who know of the good works being done by BDPA to make a secure online donation in support of our programs, scholarships and services!

In the meantime, wish us luck with the folks at the Chichester duPont Foundation!