Monday, September 26, 2016

Marcus Schumann Uses Bemley Scholarship to Study Computer Science at CSUDH

Marcus Schumann
Marcus Schumann earned a Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship as a member of the BDPA Los Angeles chapter. His High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team who won the silver medal at the 2013 BDPA Technology Conference. He plans to use his Bemley Scholarship at Cal State University at Dominguez Hills where he seeks to complete a major in Computer Science.

Marcus believes that having a degree in computer science would open up many job possibilities for the future. He joined BDPA Los Angeles chapter in 8th grade and that sparked his interest in coding and creating applications. Marcus believes that coding can be used to do just about everything. It is no secret that almost every job available today will require a programmer or computer scientist to help their company grow. In the modern age, technology rules our lives.

Marcus is African American and German heritage. He visited Germany twice with his family. During those visits Marcus noticed how tapped into technology the people are. Technology is valued highly in Germany. Technology and innovation can solve worldly problems. Marcus is also an avid gamer and loves to play video games. Marcus hopes to use his skills to work for the entertainment industry. He believes video games brings the player out of reality and lets them take a break from the stresses of the real world.

We asked Marcus to share his thoughts on BDPA:

"Before I joined the BDPA I did not know anything about what programming was. I only knew that I could go on websites and get information, I didn’t know how any of the web pages actually work. BDPA is the reason I am majoring in Computer Science today and I am so thankful towards my teachers.

Marcus Schumann and his 4 HSCC teammates!
On my first year at the BDPA chapter Los Angeles we went to competition as the HSCC in Washington D.C. It was a great experience I saw famous monuments and our team got second place out of all the chapters for our website application. Our team was top notch, we had a great connection that drove our team forward and to push to the limits. Participating in the HSCC was such as great experience for me, I learned how to work under pressure, present our project to people, and work well with others. Before the competition I had always been afraid of presenting in front of people. Now, the fear is still there but I am able to push through it and speak in front of an audience.

I miss the team we had and the great people I met. The HSCC was something I will never forget. I learned some much and we worked so hard to get second place that year. The experiences and connections I made at the HSCC is it’s own award and it taught me valuable lessons that will last me a lifetime. Thank you for giving me that opportunity."
Marcus is a remarkable young man. BDPA looks forward to following his career as he progresses through college and on into his career in the IT industry! Please note that the Bemley Scholarship Fund is made up of individual donations from people like yourself. Please take a moment to recognize young people like Marcus with a secure online donation!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

2016 Leaders for the Future Awards (Cincinnati, OH)

The Reaching for the Stars Program takes great pleasure in identifying, saluting, and creating awareness of young leaders in the African American community.  This year they are honoring ten exceptional high school sophomores and juniors destined to be future leaders in the greater Cincinnati area.  These emerging leaders epitomize excellence in character, service, and academic achievement. Their selection will be based on overall academic excellence, outstanding community service, and leadership.

Award recipients will be honored during a special recognition ceremony November 12th at 2pm at the University of Cincinnati‘s African American Cultural and Resource Center. Courtis Fuller, WLWT-TV anchor, will be emcee.  There will be a reception immediately following the Program.  There is no charge. 

At 1pm there will be a Seminar on obtaining scholarships for minority students to attend the University of Cincinnati.  This Seminar will be hosted by Bleuzette Marshall, Chief Diversity Officer at UC and Attorney Robert Richardson, Chairman of the UC Board of Directors. This is an excellent opportunity for parents and students to get valuable information and meet key decision-makers. 
The Awards create a linkage for these young aspirants with established  and accomplished leaders in their professions and in their community.  We encourage students to come back to Cincinnati after their educational careers are over and help make Cincinnati great.   Propelled by their innate talents, lofty goals, and the encouragement of inspiring role models, these emerging leaders are encouraged to soar as they continue to fulfill their highest potential and ….reach for the stars!

BDPA Cincinnati chapter has three previous winners - Hassani Harrigan, Hadiya Harrigan and Brian Puliam

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Jordan Stipp Uses His Bemley Scholarship at Stanford University

Jordan Stipp * Stanford University
Jordan Stipp earned a Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship in his senior year in high school as a member of the BDPA Central Illinois chapter. He was a member of the BDPA Central Illinois chapter team who won the bronze medal at the 2016 BDPA Technology Conference. He plans to use his Bemley Scholarship at Stanford University where he seeks to complete a major in Computer Science.

Throughout his primary and secondary educations, Jordan took an interest in technology that would eventually propel him towards participation in BDPA Central Illinois Chapter. His career goal is to become a professional software developer.

We asked Jordan to share his thoughts on BDPA.

"BDPA provides a platform for promoting the advancement of education in computer science to youth that may not have the opportunity to take advantage of elsewhere ... myself included. Some of the best memories of my final year of high school are the extensive sessions of educational coding provided by BDPA and its sponsors on Saturday mornings. Not only has my ability to develop computationally improved but also my confidence in doing so."

Jordan is a remarkable young man. BDPA looks forward to following his career as he progresses through college and on into his career as a software developer! Jordan is also an amazing dancer! Please note that the Bemley Scholarship Fund is made up of individual donations from people like yourself. Please take a moment to recognize young people like Jordan with a secure online donation!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Carl Bentley Wins BDPA Epsilon Award for Career Achievement

National BDPA annually selects and awards the BDPA Epsilon Award to recognize and celebrate key contributions and accomplishments of its members. Nominations are accepted across five categories and they are evaluated by a team of National BDPA members. One of the categories is Career Achievement. This honor is reserved for highly experienced professionals who have significant career accomplishments or contributions throughout their career.

BDPA is pleased to announce that Carl Bentley has won the 2015 Epsilon Award for Career Achievement. Carl Bentley is the executive vice president at Strategic Staffing Solutions (S3).  Bentley
has been a noted leader in Detroit’s business industry for over 30 years, and in his most recent role with S3, is making his mark on the IT and business industries globally, as well with the company’s top Fortune 100 and 500 customers. As S3’s executive VP, Bentley oversees nearly half of the company’s $268 million annual revenue, servicing global companies in the energy, healthcare and financial services industries.

Bentley also helped spearhead S3’s $10 million call center business. For one call center customer in the
Carl Bentley * Career Achievement
utility industry, Bentley’s keen recruitment and training skills resulted in assembling a team that helped raise the customer’s standings with JD Power from unsatisfactory to a top-tier rating.

While managing S3’s top customer accounts, Bentley has also been nurturing business in five major markets nationally, including Atlanta, California, Denver, Nashville and Texas. Under Bentley’s leadership and counsel, these markets have collectively increased revenue by nearly 20 percent.

While Bentley is leading the IT industry nationally, he is also supporting his community locally. For the past 16 years, Bentley has led S3’s charity golf outing in Detroit, raising nearly $500,000 to support organizations that align with S3’s pillars of community giving – homelessness, the arts, animal welfare, and economic and community development.

Additionally, Bentley serves as treasurer on the board of Mariners Inn, a shelter and treatment center for homeless men, where, among many responsibilities, he has been leading the development of a $1.3 million investment account. This will allow more discretionary spending to serve the immediate needs of Mariners Inn’s clientele. Bentley also serves on the development and nominating committees for the Junior Achievement board, which provides business and life skills programs for young people. At Junior Achievement, Bentley has been working to help integrate technology into their mentorship programs.

You can follow Carl on Twitter: @cbentley99

Friday, September 16, 2016

Long Story Short: Andrea Hodge (BDPA Greater Tampa Bay)

Andrea Hodge is a VP-Business Architect with JPMorgan Chase.  She is also the president of our BDPA Greater Tampa Bay Chapter. Andrea has over 20 years experience in the banking industry and is currently responsible for IT product innovation for the Chase Auto Finance business. In addition, she drives multiyear business and IT strategies worth ~$24M in annual investment. Andrea also provides business architecture oversight for investment planning which entails defining target state operating models and ensuring well controlled architecture solutions are delivered that adhere to business goals and regulatory standards.

Andrea Hodge * BDPA Gr. Tampa Bay Chapter Prez
Andrea enjoys serving communities where she lives and works, and has held board roles in several non profit organizations including the State of Delaware YMCA (Board of Directors, member); Downtown Wilmington YMCA (Board of Directors, Chair); Concerned Citizens Organization (Chair); and NABA (JP Morgan Chase Chair). Andrea was also responsible for bringing Operation Hope to the state of Delaware, teaching financial literacy principles to 300+ middle and high school students in impoverished communities.

This blog wanted to get a more personal look into the personality of this rising BDPA leader.  We asked Andrea to give brief answers to some odd questions. We hope you enjoy this new feature that we simply call, 'Long Story Short...'

  1. Craziest thing you've ever done? I’d have to say the craziest thing I’ve done is participate in the Polar Bear Plunge. I joined hundreds of Special Olympics donors taking a dip in the Atlantic in the middle of the winter. It was a great thrill and experience for an awesome cause. I would definitely do it again, just in a warmer body of water like the Gulf of Mexico!
  3. Favorite food you'd take with you on a desert island? I’d take any tropical fruit – but if I had to choose one, it would be the mango. I love this super fruit for its anti-oxidant benefits and taste. I imagine surviving on mangoes would get old after a while, but at least I’d be healthy!
  5. Favorite Way to de-stress after a long week? After a stressful week, I enjoy unwinding by taking long nature walks. I am an animal lover and particularly enjoy bird watching. Living in the Tampa Bay area gives me lots of opportunities to experience the beautiful landscapes and natural architectural wonders. Getting in touch with nature helps me quiet my mind and focus on inner self.
  7. Favorite way to exercise? I enjoy exercising on a regular basis by dancing. I’ve been a huge Zumba enthusiast for quite some time and really get a kick out of moving to a mix of urban hip hop and Latin sounds. I am always looking to connect friends to the art of Zumba, so if you haven’t tried it and you’re in the Tampa or Delaware area, lets chat!
  9. How you kill time in airports? I usually past the time listening to calming music or reading the Harvard Business Review. I try to take advantage of the time to catch up on industry news and innovations in my field. I try not to do actual work while I am in airports not only for security reasons, but also to strike a balance between being physically in the office and not.
  11. Least favorite chore? I’d have to say any chore is my least favorite. I’ve been both blessed and challenged to marry a man who does all of the cooking. Not having to toil in the kitchen unfortunately means my end of the deal covers cleaning. I guess its not so bad after all, considering the alternative – doing both!
  13. Simple things that make you happiest? Watching animals in their natural habitat. As I mentioned, I absolutely love animals. I am less impressed with zoos and comparable establishments that cage animals…..and more interested in safaris and water habitats. I believe watching animals helps us get in tune with the present moment, which is a great way to connect with your inner peace.
  15. Who You'd Like to Meet? I’d like to meet Fidel Castro. Studying international relations as a young person, I’ve always had a fascination with world figures who challenged industrial powers. Mr. Castro has lived through monumental global change, and has pretty much remained committed to his personal and political values. I’d like to understand firsthand, what has contributed most to his tenure as a national leader and what, if anything, he’d do differently given the chance.

Andrea wants to meet one of the more interesting people in our 'Long Story Short' series!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Michael Espey * 2012 Bemley Scholar (University of Wisconsin)

Michael  Espey
BDPA Southern Minnesota students earned 4th place in National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championship held in August 2012. The HSCC competition comprises three components: oral testing, written testing and a programming project. Michael Espey was a member of that team. He earned a Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship which he used at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He majored in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science with two concentrations: Software Development and Information Assurance and Cyber Security. Michael had many life goals including getting a job in Rochester, MN. He was successful in his goal as he is now a software engineer at IBM.

We asked Michael to provide his thoughts BDPA and his experiences in the HSCC event:

Hello my name is Michael Espey and I (attended) the University of Wisconsin-Stout majoring in Applied Math and Computer Science. Within my major I am concentrating in software development as well as information assurance and cyber security. BDPA has been a part of my life since my senior year in high school and has helped me so much giving me lifelong skills that have contributed to my successes and future opportunities.

When my brother in law, William Smith came to me suggesting that I join BDPA, I was a bit hesitant. I wasn't much of an outgoing person to try new things, but I went anyway since IT had interested me. On the first day of class I found myself sitting in a room of complete strangers, but I felt welcome and happy to be there. Once I met the instructors and the people there, I knew that i was in a good place to learn about web design and programming. I had taken a web programming class a year before in high school, so I was curious what new things I would learn in BDPA. The first couple weeks were things that I already knew - HTML and CSS. After a few weeks passed I was learning something new every week including PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript just to name a few. Getting up every Saturday to be to class by 9 am was sometimes challenging, but every week I went to class and found myself happy with that decision every time. Before i knew it, I was excited for Saturdays to come so I could be with my great instructors, peers, and new challenges. I had always been interested in computers and programming, but after I had joined BDPA is when i knew I would want to do this for my life career. BDPA has opened so many doors in my life including meeting potential employers and people interested in IT just like me!

When it came time to announce the team that would represent Southern Minnesota in the 2012 HSCC, I was eager to hear if my name made the list. I had worked very had throughout the school year, and after hearing my name as a member of the team, I was so excited! When we arrived in Baltimore, we were among big cities such as Los Angeles and the Twin Cities chapters. I knew it was not going to be an easy competition, but we had a great team and had prepared for so long. The HSCC had 3 different tasks for the competition including a team questioning, individual questioning, and team programming. My most memorable part of the HSCC was the day of the programming part of the competition. I remember being really nervous yet excited for a 7 hour task that we had been preparing for all summer long at our boot camp meetings. The thing that I can remember the most is sitting down with my team members, developing a totally functional website in only 7 hours. We worked together so well and got along great!

2012 HSCC Team (BDPA Southern Minnesota)
Even though our team only got 4th place that year, I have gotten so much more from BDPA. BDPA has helped me become more social with others, meet lots of new people that I will communicate with for the rest of my life, develop skills that I can use for the future including time management, teamwork, working hard to achieve my goals, and preparing me for college. My plans for the future are to receive my bachelors degree in 2016, help my BDPA chapter as much as I can, and get a job that I will enjoy for the rest of my life. I couldn’t have had such a great start to college and programming if it weren’t for BDPA guiding me along the way.

Thank You BDPA!

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation is very proud of Michael's involvement with BDPA.  I encourage everyone who support BDPA to make a donation to the Bemley Scholarship Fund.  You can contact Michael on Twitter: @StoutGradMike16.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

BDPA Announces Two Mobile Application Scholarship Winners

Kareem DaSilva and Mayesha Awal win State Farm Scholarships

National BDPA announced their 2016 Student Mobile Application Showcase (MAS) Scholarship Award winners from educational institutions across the United States at their 38th Annual National Technology Conference and Career Fair on August 2016, at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.

The National BDPA Mobile Application Showcase, co-sponsored by McDonald's, State Farm Insurance and World Wide Technology allowed college and high school student developers the opportunity to participate in a two (2) day competition that tested their Android & iOS smartphone operating systems. The applications showcase represented three different application categories (business, personal productivity, and gaming). Monetary awards sponsored by State Farm were given to the top high school and college participants. Each participant received certificates of participation for their effort.

Tonji Zimmerman
Tonya Zimmerman is the coordinator of the Mobile Application Showcase.

"Congratulations to our 2016 Mobile Application Showcase participants & winners! I hope that this program and all of our student-focused programs has and will continue to inspire our students to become multi-language, multi-platform technologists. We look forward to next year's showcase and the participants' innovative app ideas!” exclaimed Tonji Zimmerman, MAS Coordinator.
There were two students who won the college and high school division of the showcase.   Kareem DaSilva is the winner of the College Student division.
Kareem DaSilva, the college student winner replied, "Throughout my experiences at BDPA, the Mobile Application Showcase stretched me the most, it pushed me to think, try, and succeed the hardest. Coming in 2nd place in 2015 only fueled me to build a better and more capable application. It forced me out of my comfort zone which showed me how much more I can grow and become better."
Mayesha Awal was a salutatorian from the class of 586 students at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis.   She just entered Georgetown University as a freshman seeking to major in Biochemistry and Computer Science.
High school winner Mayesha Awal said, "I have always loved computer and computer technology ever since I was young. When applications on mobile phones were new, I wanted to make my own mobile application and wondered how I would get started. When the opportunity to make a mobile app came across, I immediately jumped on the opportunity because I wanted to challenge myself to see what I was capable of doing. The process itself was a little stressful at times, but it really showed me what weaknesses and strengths I have regarding computer programming. Finding an original idea was also a difficult process as there are numerous applications on the app store. I finally decided to make a social networking app called Moda because my friends once told me that they were worried about job prospects in fashion and design. I decided to have users on Moda be able to post their designs and have designer companies be able to recruit designers based upon their talent and skills. I also gained an appreciation for app development because I realized that it takes a great deal of patience, organization, and dedication to design a mobile app. I want to further enhance my application by adding more functionalities to my app and release it in various app stores."

For more details on the BDPA corporate sponsorship program, contact the corporate sales support team at (301) 584-3135 ext. 108 or Additionally, please visit

Monday, September 12, 2016

Kyra Hayes Uses Her Zycron Scholarship at Hampton University

Kyra Hayes *Hampton University
BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce that Zycron awarded a $2,500 college scholarship to five (5) students. One of those students is Kyra Hayes of Hampton University.  Zycron is an international information technology services and solutions firm headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.  Since 1991, Zycron has offered IT solutions to a broad client base, and today is the primary provider for numerous Fortune 500 companies.

Kyra Hayes is a sophomore at Hampton University with a major in Business Management and a minor in Leadership Studies. Kyra seeks to complete coursework in the Audio Engineering discipline. She was selected as a William R. Harvey Leadership Institute Fellow, which provides an intensive, interactive undergraduate minor designed to develop entry-level leaders for the workplace and community who are competent, committed and ethical.  In the coming years, she plans to own her own record label, be a music producer, and also an audio engineer.  She has volunteered with organizations such as Youth About Business, 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee, Second Harvest Food Bank and the Nashville Rescue Mission.

Kyra recently joined our BDPA Middle Tennessee chapter.  When asked to share her thoughts on being a Zycron scholar, Kyra wrote,

"My most memorable moment with BDPA is going to the career fair at the BDPA conference in Atlanta. I enjoyed speaking with representatives from various companies and learning more about how they make the world a better place. While I’ve only been a member for a short time, participating in BDPA has impacted me heavily. My ability to network beyond my current circle is an opportunity that I cherish the most. I was able to meet people from many places and learn about their background, career interests and family. Thank you for the opportunity."

BDPA is blessed to have such a young and talented student member on board as winner of the Zycron Scholarship.  We look forward to supporting Kyra's career as she seeks to advance in the technology industry!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Long Story Short: Loraine Stewart-David (BDPA Detroit Chapter President)

Loraine Stewart-David
Loraine Stewart-David is a contractual CFO/Financial Analyst with one of Michigan’s top fortune financial companies. She is also a contractual Senior Level Healthcare Finance Comptroller, providing both operational and programmatic support to four local health care facilities. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, Master’s Degree in Finance and is also a Certified Management Accountant.

She has been proudly affiliated with BDPA Detroit Chapter since 1992, bringing her unique strengths, talents and contributions to the Chapter.  She has served six consecutive terms as BDPA Detroit Chapter VP-Finance. In addition, Loraine served as National BDPA VP-Finance. Providing her organizational and analytical skills, she is elated at the opportunity to currently hold the role of BDPA Detroit Chapter President. She has a proven reputation for results-driven solutions that increase the bottom line. She is proficient in the development and implementation of financial policies, providing credible financial analyses, and decision making to preserve the financial position and performance of BDPA Detroit.

This blog wanted to get a more personal look into the personality of this rising BDPA leader. We asked Loraine to give brief answers to some odd questions. We hope you enjoy this new feature that we simply call, 'Long Story Short...'

  1. Favorite Way to de-stress after a long week? Shop for shoes and nail polish!
  3. How you kill time in airports? I spend my time at the Delta Airlines Sky Club lounge. I can eat, drink, relax, read and sleep while waiting on my flight.
  5. Simple things that make you happiest? Paying it forward; Seeing other people happy!
  7. Who You'd Like to Meet? I would like to meet the handsome singer, El Debarge

We're not sure if Loraine will have a chance to meet El DeBarge in person ... but, she can listen to 'All This Love'!